Authors: Lissa Evans
About the Book
Stuart Horten (ten, but looks younger) is now the owner of a magician's workshop â except that without his Great-Uncle's Last Will and Testament, he can't actually prove it. Which is a problem, since someone else wants it as well; someone who has a lot of money.
The workshop contains seven magnificent stage illusions, but when Stuart starts to investigate them, he discovers that each is the gateway to a magical adventure, with a puzzle to solve, and a clue to extract.
As the clues mount up, the adventures become riskier. Friendship is strained, and danger looms and Stuart has to decide what sort of prize he really, truly wants.
For my mum
Who read like the wind and loved books
And who was always the first to read mine.
STUART HORTEN SAT
at the kitchen table and looked at the front page of the crummy little newspaper he'd just been given. Then, with a feeling of foreboding, he began to read.
âWhy do your sisters keep writing that?' asked Stuart indignantly.
âKeep writing what?' asked his friend and next-door neighbour, April Kingley, who'd brought him the paper. âYou mean
ten, but looks younger
âNo. The word
Stuart claims this, Stuart claims that
. As if I was making it all up.'
April shrugged. âReporters have to have proof.'
Stuart rolled his eyes. The Kingley triplets were always referring to themselves as âreporters', as if
were writing for some important national newspaper, instead of a flimsy four-page hand-out, invented as a holiday project, printed out in their bedroom and forced on the neighbours.
âI couldn't exactly tell them the truth, could I?' he asked. âI couldn't tell them that I found a stash of magic threepences, hidden by my great-uncle, together with a note telling me to try and find his lost workshop. I couldn't tell them that I put coins in old slot machines all over Beeton, which ended up leading me to the room under the bandstand. I couldn't tell them that one of the stage illusions I found there was called the Well of Wishes, and it actually
grant wishes when you chucked in a coin. They'd think I was mad.'
He couldn't face reading the rest of the article, and instead turned the paper over and looked at the back page.