Afternoon lovelies. Today I’m on the book birthday blitz for Lady in Red by Tessa Buckley, and am delighted to share an extract with you…..enjoy! And happy birthday!
book blurb & info
Pursuing the truth can be a dangerous game…
School’s out for the summer, and Eye Spy Investigations have a new case – looking for Lady in Red, a lost masterpiece by Victorian painter, Gabriel Pascoe.
The clock is ticking for Alex and Donna, because the artist’s house, Acacia Villa, where their friend Jake lives, is due to be demolished, and vital clues may be destroyed. And Alex has an additional problem: he is terrified of snakes, and Jake has a pet snake called Queenie…
As the twins pursue their enquiries, they come up against the man who wants to demolish Acacia Villa. But Mr Mortimer is the godfather of their baby half-sister, Sophie, and criticising him could open up family rifts, which have only just healed.
Then Queenie goes missing, setting in motion a disastrous train of events that will turn the search for Lady in Red into the twins’ most dangerous case yet.
Published by:Troubador Publishing Ltd on 16 Oct. 2019
Formats Available: Paperback and eBook
The children have one last chance to look for the missing painting in the derelict house before the demolition men move in. But as Alex and Donna search the cellar, they realise they are not alone in the building…
Once inside, I couldn’t see very much until my eyes adjusted to the low light level. Donna, who had been looking carefully round the small square coal cellar, whispered “Do you think Miles was mistaken? I can’t see a package wrapped in newspaper.”
She was right. As far as I could see, there was nothing but coal in the coal cellar. Then I noticed a small opening in one of the walls. “Look. Maybe it’s through there.”
We moved towards the hole in the wall, trying not to slip on the bits of coal which were lying around on the floor. The square hole in the wall was much smaller than a normal door opening, and we had to bend our heads down to squeeze through. The light coming from above didn’t reach the inner room, and it was nearly pitch black in there, so I pulled my torch out of my pocket and started flashing it at each wall in turn. There were a few old bits of furniture, a coal scuttle and a broken china sink, but nothing that looked remotely like a painting. Then, just as I flashed the torch up towards the ceiling, which appeared to be the underside of floorboards from the room above, we heard a low whistle from Jake. I switched off the torch immediately, and we both froze.
“What shall we do?” Donna whispered. Stupidly, we hadn’t planned what to do if we were disturbed. Whilst we dithered, I heard footsteps crossing the room above our head. There was more than one set of footsteps.
As the footsteps moved nearer, we could hear snatches of conversation. One of the voices belonged to Mr Mortimer.
“…so we won’t get permission to demolish for some time yet, but I want to ensure nothing goes wrong in the meantime.”
“That Mrs O’Connor won’t give you any problems,” another voice said. “She couldn’t say boo to a goose.”
Mortimer gave a short laugh. “You’re right. But there’s a husband working abroad who may kick up a stink when he gets home. That’s why we need a contingency plan.”
“Got you,” said a third voice. “It’s an old building with lots of problems. Nobody would be surprised if it collapsed rather sooner than planned, eh?”
Mortimer gave a short laugh. “I see we understand each other. I’ll leave the details to you, shall I?”
“Don’t worry. Stu and I will take care of it.”
As the footsteps retreated, Donna and I stared at each other, horrified. Before we had a chance to say anything, we heard another whistle, louder this time.
We hurried back to the coal cellar. “There’s nothing here,” I called up in a hushed voice. “Let’s get out of here.”
Donna went first, and Jake grabbed both of her arms and pulled, while I pushed from behind. Then both of them hauled me up.
“What…?” Jake began as I lay panting on the ground by the hole. “There’s no time!” Donna said. “Mortimer and two other men are in the building. We need to go.”
Jake nodded, and the three of us hurriedly made our escape. This time we abandoned caution and legged it as quickly as we could down the garden and into the shrubbery at the bottom. I didn’t feel safe until we were back in the Jungle, where nobody could accuse us of trespassing.
about the author
Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series for 9-12 year olds about two teen detectives. There are now two more books in the series: Haunted, which was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017,, and Lady in Red. She lives by the sea in Essex and recently completed an Open University arts degree.
Organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
Thanks Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Tessa and the publisher for sharing an extract with us.
Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.