Title: Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
There is a hidden treasure in the grand old mansion on Piccadilly Street, in a place called London, but not the real London of English fame. There’s also a lot of mystery and a murder that’s been unsolved for decades. But it’s the treasure that captures Mary’s interest. Mary lives in this house along with her family, her Brownie friends and a ghost. When the ghost reveals her secret about the hidden treasure, there’s no stopping Mary, her Brownie friends, or her enemies from searching for this treasure. Why the intrigue? Apparently there’s a little bit of magic connected to this treasure. And so the adventure begins. Who will find the treasure first?
“Mrs. Murray. You must have some idea where you might have stashed the treasure.” Mary had been grilling the ghost for what seemed like hours. It was Saturday night, the middle of the weekend, and horrendous thoughts of school were tucked away until Monday morning. She was feeling more rested, and, in fact, a little bit restless. Unable to sleep, she had waited up for Mrs. Murray’s nocturnal visit.
“I have thought about it.” The ghost nodded her head, a glimmer of shimmering white at the end of Mary’s bed where she sat, more or less, perched. “I have roamed the halls and through the walls. I’ve even shimmied up the chimneys. But, to no avail. I really don’t remember what I did with it. I suppose it’s possible my husband found it after I was murdered and took it with him when he left. In which case, it’s probably at the bottom of the ocean by now. Or, worse yet, that scoundrel who killed me found the treasure and stole it. If he did, he probably sold it years ago.”
“I think it’s in the house.” Mary was adamant. “I can feel it. I know that sounds strange. But there’s a definite pull that I feel.”
“Is the pull leading you anywhere in particular?”
Mary let out a deep sigh and frowned. “No.” It was exasperating. She knew the treasure was in the house. Or, at least on the property. She could feel it. She could sense it. She knew it was weird, being able to sense things. She had always been like that. The only person she ever told was Granny. No one else would have believed her. And, they may have even laughed at her had she told them. Especially her brother. David was always making fun of anything she said or did.
But this treasure alluded her. She knew it was here, in this house, somewhere. The question was, where? And Mrs. Murray wasn’t being any help. Not one bit.
Mary let out a deeply pent up sigh. “You must remember something! When was the last time you held the jewellery in your hands? Did you ever wear the ring? Or the necklace? Or both?”
“Oh yes!” Mrs. Murray beamed, if a ghost could beam through its shimmering effervescence. Even her eyes glistened, sparkled really, as the memories started to wash over her. “I wore it as a teenager. Only briefly. My grandmother gave it to me when I turned sixteen. She said it was very special, full of magic. I didn’t believe her then. I didn’t believe in magic. You see, I hadn’t met Brunny and Pelly yet. They were connected to my grandmother until she died, which was only days after she gave me the jewels. Very sad. She was so strong and healthy. It was as if some horrible curse took her away. That’s what Brunny said when he first appeared to me. Both my grandmother and Brunny insisted I take special care of the jewels. And certainly not wear them around for the world to see. Such a shame, really. They are beautiful. Were beautiful. Are beautiful. I don’t know which, past or present. Do they even still exist? I don’t remember the last time I saw the necklace. It must have been before I left Scotland. Perhaps it is still there. Perhaps I misplaced it. I don’t really know. But the ring is here. Somewhere. If it still exists.”
“Oh, it exists all right.” Mary dropped her legs over the side of the bed. “Maybe if we wander the house together, you might remember and I might sense something.”
“What if we wake your family?”
“I’ll pretend I’m sleepwalking,” Mary chuckled softly. “I do that enough anyway. They’ll believe it. Besides. Everyone’s exhausted. They’re out for the night. Like Dad will say in the morning, sleeping like a log.”
“If you insist.”
“Where are the Brownies? I hope Elizabeth hasn’t poisoned them again.”
“In which case, we shall be extra vigilant as she may be watching our every move.” Mary didn’t say it out loud, but she had decided it might be best to just sense a location of the treasure and then go looking for it in daylight, at a time when she was sure Elizabeth wasn’t snooping. Or, perhaps she could enlist Brunny’s help. He could give her the potion, the one she had given them, on more than one occasion, Mary was sure. If Elizabeth were out cold, she wouldn’t be able to snoop around.
Speaking of her favorite Brownie, “Where’s Brunny?” The ghost and the girl stopped in their tracks and stared at each other.
“I don’t know.” Mrs. Murray didn’t often look worried, but her face was definitely marked with worry lines. “Stay here. I’ll go check on them.”
What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?
Reading. Sitting by the woodstove, soaking up the warmth and deep into a good book. From best sellers like John Grisham, Anne Perry and Philippa Gregory (and many others) to new, aspiring authors seeking a foothold in this precarious world of writing and publishing, like Tricia Mingerink, Gary Miller and so many others, I like to dig deep into the artistry of plot, character and scene development and learn from others. As well as enjoy a good story. For me, a good story is a book I can’t wait to read, can’t wait to finish, and, once finished, wished I was still reading it. There’s nothing like feeling a part of a story to the degree that you feel a sense of loss when the story comes to its conclusion and you are set adrift again. That’s what makes a great writer, and that’s what I aspire to be. So, I spend my winter hours reading and learning. And, of course, writing.
Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?
Lots of fun and adventure. I had a lot of fun writing this book (and the other ones in the series) and my readers keep telling me they can’t put it down. There are funny moments, scary moments, adventure and so much more. My reviewers agree:
Fans of Harry Potter will love this. This book is the epitome of adventure for the young reader. Almost from the word go, this sequel takes off back into the world of ghosts and magic. Mary is faced with daily challenges that only can be overcome with her faith in family and the magical life she leads. The reader is buffeted from one threat to Mary to another but Mary never gives up. N.N. Light
A magical down to earth read. What a fun book for young readers. While it contains some of the difficult feelings we all went through as we grew up, it does so in the kind of fantasy we love to read. I was so pleased to read such a fun, light book that mixed everyday problems, being new to school, hoping to fit in, looking for a friend, with magical people and a witch and a ghost. Sort of a getaway that all of us, children too, need to read about now and then. Our Town Book Reviews
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Runs March 1 – 31
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An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 1 (Telltale Publishing 2018) which was named finalist in the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2 (Telltale Publishing 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Home: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 3 (Telltale Publishing 2020), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018) which won the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca
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