Summary from Goodreads
Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid of no importance, with a very lofty opinion of herself. Dumped in Paris by the Countess Carbunkle, who would rather run away to South America than continue in Ivy’s companionship, our young heroine (of sorts) finds herself with no money and no home to go to … until she is summoned to the bedside of the dying Duchess of Trinity.
For the princely sum of £500 (enough to buy a carriage, and possibly a monkey), Ivy agrees to courier the Duchess’s most precious possession – the Clock Diamond – to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. It’s not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder.
Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by John Kelly, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl’s deadly comic journey to discover who she really is …
TEN RANDOM THINGS – IVY POCKET
1) I can only write on days beginning with a T or an S due to an old table tennis injury.
2) Ivy Pocket never tells a lie. Expect when she is lying through her teeth. Her flair for invention isn’t malicious. It’s simply that if what she says isn’t strictly, or ever remotely, true – then it probably should be.
3) While Ivy believes that everyone she comes across simply adores her, I set out with the opposite intention when creating the character. Likability is a bug bear of mine. Why must the central character in children’s fiction be ‘likeable’? I’d rather they be relatable. Or better yet, reprehensible. That’s far more interesting than likability, it seems to me.
4) The initial inspiration for ANYONE BUT IVY POCKET was a little book written in 1890 called ‘The Danvers Jewels’. I set out to write a fairly faithful children’s adaption of this delightful little jewel caper, but then Ivy popped into my head – and suddenly the story took on a life all of its own. Which is just how it should be.
5) I began collecting house cats while I was writing the first Ivy Pocket book. I have eleven in total and had them all stuffed for safekeeping.
6) I’m heavily influence by 19th century literature – everything from Austen to sensation fiction. My favourites include Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. You will find elements of all of these writers in my stories.
7) The Clock Diamond is a mystical stone that is at the heart of my story and as I haven’t a clue about diamonds as a general rule, I just made stuff up. Which seemed to work out.
8) My favourite place to find character names is Dickens.
9) Horatio Banks is the only significant male character in the book. This was not by design. I just naturally find female characters more interesting.
10) During the writing of IVY POCKET I only ate limes. And the occasional side of beef.
About the Author
Caleb Krisp was raised by militant librarians who fed him a constant diet of nineteenth century literature and room temperature porridge. He graduated from the University of Sufferance with a degree in Whimsy and set out to make his mark in the world as a writer. Years of toil and failure followed, until, following a brief stint working in a locked box, Caleb moved to an abandoned cottage deep in the woods and devoted himself to writing about the adventures of a twelve-year-old lady’s maid of no importance. Caleb has a strong dislike of pastry chefs and certain domesticated rabbits. His only communication with the outside world is via Morse code or kettle drum. He trusts no one.