A dramatic, gothic mystery with an air of menace, from an award-winning author.
I am the girl with no name ... I have a secret I must never tell. If I do, they will come after me - the Protector and his men.
Only a number branded on her arm betrays the orphan girl's past. When she arrives at Murkmere Hall to be a kitchen maid, they call her Scuff, and little guess she has committed a terrible crime. Haunted by her dark secret, all Scuff can do is pray to the divine beings - the birds - for forgiveness.
Now, five years later, the past is catching up with Scuff. Hunted from all sides, she flees Murkmere, only to be forced back to the cruel confines of the Capital, and the Orphans' Home where it all began.
Set in the capital city, this has a very different feel from Murkmere, but is still grounded in the bird tradition, superstition and religion that haunts the first book.
This is a beautiful, compelling novel. - Guardian
Murkmere: 'Fraught with fenland mist and magic, this supernatural thriller ... is compassionate and original.' - The Times
Compelling ... a salutary reminder to keep an eye on the children's bookshelves. - SFX magazine
The Ice Boy: 'A remarkable first novel ... here is a writer whom you can trust.' - Armadillo
Elliott is one of [the Fidler Award's] worthiest winners. This atmospheric debut novel [is] heavy on Kleenex - The Glasgow Herald
The standard of writing displayed by the winners of the Fidler Award is high, and The Ice Boy is no exception. - Writers' News
Patricia Elliott has written nine novels for children and young adults. Her first novel with Hodder, The Ice Boy, won the Fidler Award for a First Novel and was shortlisted for the Branford-Boase among other awards. Her second, Murkmere, was long-listed for the Guardian Fiction Award and she has since been short-listed for many others, including the Calderdale and the Wirral Paperback of the Year.
Her most recent YA is a Victorian Gothic, The Devil in the Corner. Her new MG series, the Connie Carew Mysteries, is set in the Edwardian period: The House of Eyes and The Ship of Spectres.
Patricia was (and is!) a voracious reader and always scribbled stories during a childhood spent overseas. She worked in publishing in London and in bookselling in New York before taking an M.A. in Writing for Children. She has been a tutor at Morley College, London, and in between writing now leads workshops for both adults and children, including Chelsea Young Writers. She is an active member of CWISL (Children's Writers and Illustrators in South London). She is married, with two sons.