A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel. High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens. Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant? With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do the impossible.
I am an illustrator and writer, and I live in Melbourne, which is down at the bottom, right hand corner of Australia. I have been writing and illustrating books for more than 20 years, I have written 13 books, and illustrated more than 80. I like tea and chocolate. My parents met in the belfry of a church. I have been bitten by both an Arctic Skua and an Antarctic Skua and I have had my lunch stolen by an emu. I have a fat cat who shouts at me when I sleep too late in the morning.