It was Christmas Eve. Amelia and Effie were sitting in a window seat in the house in Hampstead, drinking tea as snow fell on Church Row outside. Effie was reading aloud dramatically from Matilda Marchmont’s old journal, which they had found in the chest.
Amelia could make out the branches of the tall Christmas tree quite clearly now, flickering with soft candlelight and hung with gingerbread stars. The room was garlanded with ivy and mistletoe.
“Hmm. I’ve taught you to read well,” mused Amelia.
“Don’t flatter yourself, will you!”
The girls grinned at each other.
Mr. Haverstock was walking across the room. His hands were flapping oddly.
“Please don’t over-excite yourself, but I have news. Great news. More than news…A visitor. Can you bear a tremendous shock do you think?”
Flickering with soft candlelight and hung with gingerbread stars..
Extract from 'Amelia's Inheritance'