Author(s): Laura Powell
Pattern is only thirteen, but is already rising through the ranks at Mrs Minchin's Academy of Domestic Servitude and seems destined for a life below stairs. But fate intervenes when she is packed off to the small and secretive Duchy of Elffinberg, to serve as lady's maid to the lately orphaned Grand Duchess. Pattern's young new mistress is excitable and paranoid, yet despite their differences the two girls forge an unlikely friendship that quickly turns into a battle for survival. For picture-perfect Elffinberg hides an extremely dark and deadly secret ...Armed only with her trusty sewing basket, a bottle of smelling salts and J. Bulcock's inestimable guide, The Duties of a Lady's Maid, Pattern will need all her wits and resourcefulness when dealing with above-stairs conspiracies and below-stairs intrigue. Darning stockings has never been so dangerous.
Upstairs or downstairs, danger is waiting
An atmospheric, intriguing mystery. * Guardian * A mystery with magic and friendship at its heart and a sharp dagger in its tail. * Booktrust * Plenty of plot twists and intrigue in [this] cracking adventure from below stairs. * Sunday Express S Magazine * With its atmospheric fairy tale backdrop, cast of amazing characters, lashings of dark humour and devilish twist in the tail, The Last Duchess is an entertaining blend of real life and fantasy. There are warm friendships to enjoy, an intriguing mystery to solve and plenty of adventures, dramas and danger to set the pulse racing. * Lancashire Evening Post * Written with a light, deft touch, there is mystery, humour, loyalty and friendship well balanced throughout the book. A very good read. * Parents in Touch * The background to this excellent story, the first in a series, is well-constructed and colourful . . . The tension continues right until the final pages, ably assisted by Sarah Gibb's delightful illustrations, and readers will look forward eagerly to Pattern's further adventures. * The Book Bag *
Laura Powell, who may or may not be a direct descendant of King Arthur, was born in London, but grew up in the shadow of Carreg Cennen Castle in Wales. Much of her childhood was either spent with her nose firmly in a book, or plotting to escape her boarding school, which she hated. Having studied Classics at university, she now spends her time working for the English National Ballet and writing. She lives in Camberwell with her husband and young son. Sarah Gibb is a London-based illustrator. After landing regular spots in the Telegraph and Elle magazine, Sarah has gone on to illustrate Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole series, many classic children's fairy tales, and even the Harrods Christmas window display.