Alana Oakley is 12 going on 24. She has to be when her impulsive, accident-prone mother, Emma, attracts so much chaos. Alana's dad's passing three years ago has forced Alana to become the grown-up of the family, spinning the mother-daughter relationship on its head. Mystery and Mayhem starts with Alana's first year in high school at the progressive, experimental Gibson High. Year 7 is packed with the usual excitement and perils. But when Alana's superstitious friend, Sofia, loses her magic eight-ball charm, life begins to take a mysterious detour. Alana's sleuthing career takes off, but not without first having to overcome the over-exuberant Nurse Cathy, the military-inspired Coach Kusmuk and her impetuous mother who has now taken up Internet-dating! The biggest mystery of all is whether Alana's birthday wish will come true: Will this year be different or will it go horribly, spectacularly wrong, as usual? Better call the fire department... just in case.
Poppy Inkwell was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Australia three years later. She grew up in Campbelltown and graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA in Asian Studies. She has worked as a DJ, an interpreter, PR guru and taught English to ASEAN diplomats in Brunei. Her five children inspired an interest in children and creativity which led to a Masters in Learning Innovation (Early Childhood) from QUT, the development of PicassoPlay (an art playgroup for toddlers) and a transition-to-school program which she ran at an International School. She has sky-dived - once.