Author, Eve McDonnell, Cover Designer Holly Ovenden


A vividly written, page-turning mystery adventure set in a world full of jeopardy, The Chestnut Roaster is an exceptional story told with great panache by Eve McDonnell and atmospherically illustrated by Ewa Beniak- Haremska.

Twelve-year-old Piaf is in danger. Her twin brother has been taken away to a secret hospital and a strange man tries to abduct her from her chestnut roasting stall on a street corner. No one except her seems to remember things that happened in the past or to know what year it is. What is going on? Piaf has an unnaturally good memory: she can riffle through the boxes in her mind and find almost any detail she is thinking of. Can she use this skill to solve all the mysteries? Teaming up with her twin and a friend who has also lost all memory, her search for answers takes her through the streets of 19th century Paris and down into the alternative Paris that lies below the pavements. The children stay just ahead of their adversaries as they explore the mysterious underworld of Paris – and especially the sinister, bone-filled Catacombs.



What the Shortlist Committee Say...

"An intriguing and mysterious illustration that reveals its many layers the more you look. The layering of leaf, map and catacombs is very clever and playful."