Author Julie Ratcliffe at Highcliffe and Verwood Libraries

Come and meet Julie Ratcliffe, author of “The Thirteenth Box”, an exciting children’s adventure story set in Christchurch in the 1780’s.

Julie has enjoyed writing from childhood and began writing children’s stories when working for Bolton Public Libraries. She often read her work to visiting school children, but never attempted to have the stories published.

She continued to invent stories for her three sons, but it is only now that she has decided to publish her work.

Julie says: “I wanted to create a world that was both exciting and interesting. Christchurch at this time was a small town, but smuggling was rife. I hope anyone picking up the book will not only experience a great read, but will enjoy finding out what things like ankers, spout lamps, bone boxes and fart followers are.” ‘

Nearly everyone in Christchurch is a smuggler, or at least takes in the spoils,’ Will Gibbs tells his new friend. ‘But somethin’ different’s goin’ on.’ It’s March 1780. Smuggling along England’s coast is rife, and dangerous … Boxes holding parts of a mysterious machine have been smuggled into a small, south coast town and the chase is on to capture them, especially the all‐important thirteenth box.”

In this thrilling story of mystery and adventure, three young friends put themselves in great danger whilst trying to find out what’s going on in their seemingly ordinary town. Who does the machine belong to? And amongst the strange characters they encounter, just who can they trust?

The Thirteenth Box, is the first in the series Smugglers’ Town Mysteries. Set in 18th‐century England, it is action‐packed and full of colourful characters.  Books will be available for Julie to sign.

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