Cinnamon’s blog

Posted by Cinnamon - Thursday, March 1, 2018


Finally my second case Ghost Light has seen the light of day. A haunted theatre? An accident in an eerie graveyard? My friend Meera doesn’t think these things have anything to do with ghosts. She could be right. Maybe she’s wrong. You won’t know the truth unless you read the book!

Here are the first few pages of our investigation …


I am sitting in the brand-new Ambassador Theatre, observing.

That’s what detectives do.

My bum is the first bum to ever touch this prickly, cloth-covered seat. How awesome is that?

Around me heaps of nervous kids are waiting with their parents/teachers/friends. They’re here to try-out for a part in Macbeth, the play by William Shakespeare. The one about murder. And witches.

My best friend Cossie hurries up the aisle. ‘Cinnamon, Cinnamon!’ Behind her glasses, her eyes are wide with excitement. ‘Cinnamon, do you believe in ghosts?’

‘Do I believe in goats?’

‘No, GHOSTS!’ Cossie bounces into the seat next to me. ‘I think I just saw one!’

‘Wow! True?’

‘It was white and shimmery. It gave me a wave and disappeared.’

Wow to the max! ‘Where did it go?’

‘No idea. Back to the astral plane?’ Cossie grins. ‘Course I might be mistaken. I’d taken my glasses off to give them a polish. You know I’m short- sighted. Maybe it was a cleaner or someone.’

‘Yeah. Maybe.’ Or maybe not! This sounded like something I should investigate.

I check the time on my phone. ‘Cossie, we’ve ten minutes before your audition starts. Let’s go find this ghost!’

She gives a thumbs-up. ‘Wicked!’

That’s why Cossie’s such a good friend. She’s always up for adventures.

‘Follow me, Cin. A ghost hunt might settle my nerves!’

We hurry down the centre aisle. Cossie leads, I limp along behind. During my last case I’d sustained a life-threatening injury [1] (okay, a broken toe) which was healing. Slowly.

The auditorium is built like an amphitheatre, with tiered seats leading down to the stage. The whole place smells of fresh paint.

When we reach the stage with its massive scarlet and gold curtain, Cossie whispers, ‘Quick, in here!’

We slip through a narrow gap at the side of the curtain into the backstage area. An almost invisible door is tucked against a far wall.

My friend says, in a Dracula-type voice, ‘I voz searching for a place to practise my lines ven I discovered zat door and ze secret stairs beyond. Come, Cinnamon, ve must go down ze stairs into ze darkness!’

She opens the door. Beyond is a space like a lift shaft. But there’s no lift. Instead, a metal staircase spirals above our heads and beneath our feet, lit by dim electric lights. We’re near the bottom of the stairs, only a few steps away from a shadowy, cavern-like basement.

I’m starting to feel less enthusiastic. Not that I’m scared of the dark exactly. I just prefer places that are brightly lit.

Cossie skips down the stairs, which clink and shake, not at all worried by the spookiness.

The basement is as quiet and dark as the auditorium had been full of light and noise. The place smells of dust and plumbing.

A bank of sensor lights flash on. Weirdly they make the murky places seem even darker.

Now that my eyes are used to the gloom I can see boxes and piles of material jumbled about. Strange huge shapes lie shrouded under tarpaulins. There will definitely be rats (and other yucky things) hiding here, ready to pounce.

‘We are actually under the stage. A perfect spot to rehearse, I thought,’ says Cossie.

She points towards a corridor leading off the basement. It’s signposted Toilets and Wardrobe. ‘That’s where I saw the ghost.’

The long corridor yawns at us, completely empty.

‘Oh, it’s gone. What a pity.’ She sounds disappointed.

I’m not!

‘The old Ambassador was built over a hundred and fifty years ago by the great actress Adelaide Glendenning.’ Cossie pats one of the basement’s rough stone walls. ‘This is the only part of the original theatre left. Prob’ly where the ghost lives. It must have slipped out through these cold, grey slabs…’

I touch the wall with my fingertips. It is cold. The whole basement is cooler than upstairs. Aren’t haunted places supposed to be chilly?

The sensor lights flicker. A few go out.

The back of my neck prickles like I’ve got raging nettle rash.

I babble, ‘Yes, yes, fascinating. We should get back now. Come on Cossie. Come on out of here!’

Note to Self: Great detectives have Nerves of Steel and are not – repeat NOT – freaked by the dark. Must overcome this weakness a.s.a.p.



[1] See Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster (C.S.) That’s me – Cinnamon Stevens




Cinnamons blog

Posted by Cinnamon - Monday, November 23, 2015

  • 6.map_camp castaway (00000002)At last! The book about my first case is finally available. Cinnamon Stevens – Crime Buster is a true and accurate record of everything that happened when the new girl at school, Becki Shrieber, disappeared during our Year 7 camp on Phillip Island. Luckily my old best friend Cosette and new best friend Meera were around to help my investigation. Oh, and I got lots of inspiration from the little penguins on Phillip Island…’When danger looms, remember the penguins!’ (You’ll have to read the book to find out how this helped solve the case. Check the map below and see if you can work out HOW Becki left Camp Castaway. I found a mysterious note that read: Plans changed. C U Bhind A block midnight. X. )
  • Now we’re starting a second adventure. Excellent actress Cosette has her big chance – in a production of the play ‘Macbeth’ in an old theatre with a resident ghost. Cossie thinks she’s seen the ghost already. I think she needs new glasses and Meera says ‘There are no such things as ghosts.’ Wonder which one of us is right…



Best Breakfasts – recipes to start your day

Posted by Cinnamon - Monday, July 6, 2015

For me, breakfasts are the most important meal of the day. My very fave are weekend breakfasts in bed (especially in winter!)  So unless Mum comes through with a drink and toast I make my own, then rush upstairs and get back into bed with my diary, moby or a book and Toffee asleep on my feet.

Here is one of my yummiest breakfast/brunches.

SCRAMBLED EGGS WITH BENEFITS (enough for me and rug-rat brother Boddy)

2 eggs (1 per person)                                               ¼ cup of cottage cheese

Pinch of cayenne pepper (if you like heat – otherwise black pepper)

Two slices of thick, chewy bread

Butter                                                                                     Oil

Beat the eggs and cottage cheese. Swirl a bit of oil across the bottom of a pan or saucepan. Heat the pan, add a nob of butter. When the butter is melted, tip in the egg/cheese mixture. Put the bread in the toaster. Wait until eggs look like they are setting and then stir around with a fork. Add pepper or cayenne pepper. Take mixture off the heat while the mixture is still runny – this stops the eggs being rubbery, because they will continue cooking. Butter toast. Tip eggy mixture onto toast. Enjoy.

DAD’S PANCAKES   (these are brunch rather than brekkie and not really suitable for eating in bed (tho  I have given it a try several times)

Everyone in my family enjoys cooking. Dad and I are better at savouries. Mum does main meals. Boddy is the pastry chef and manages to put together excellent sweet things. Here’s the easy pancake recipe Dad often makes on Sundays. This recipe makes about 5 or 6 good sized pancakes. Double the recipe for more.

1 large egg (or 2 smaller ones)

1 cup of flour (wholemeal for preference as this gives a nice, nutty flavour)

Milk to mix (lots of milk if you use wholemeal flour)

Beat the egg until it froths. Add some of the milk. Mix in flour. Add rest of milk until the mixture is runny. Leave for at least 30 minutes. During this time check the fridge for pancake fillings. Here’re some suggestions:

Fresh Strawberries or other berries

Lemon juice and sugar

Raspberry, strawberry or apricot jam or preserves

Peanut butter (I know, sounds disgusting. Boddy likes this)

Butter and sugar (Dad’s fave)

You can also slice a banana into the mixture and have fried banana pancakes which are yum. Also cream, ice cream or yoghurt.

How to be a Super Sleuth

Posted by Cinnamon - Saturday, June 6, 2015

At all times keep your eyes and ears open. Sometimes what seems unimportant is the most important thing of all.

Always give credit to your team when they do something amazing.

Trust your intuition. It is often right.

A good breakfast is the best start to a day!