Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones has survived her first term at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale. And now Jacinta Headlington-Bear, the school's second best tantrum thrower, is joining Alice-Miranda's family for term break. Who would have thought it! The two girls are looking forward to a relaxing holiday at Highton Hall. But a cranky boy is causing mischief on the estate, a movie star has come to visit and a stranger is snooping about....
Alice-Miranda is in bustling New York City. It's a blur of skyscrapers, hot dog carts, chats with zoo animals and classes at Mrs Kimmel's School for Girls, right next to glorious Central Park. Her family's glamorous department store, Highton's on Fifth, has just been renovated, but plans for the fabulous reopening party are going curiously wrong. Is that why Alice-Miranda's father, Hugh, seems so worried? And why is her new friend, Lucinda, so shy about inviting Alice-Miranda home?
Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennigton-Jones can't wait to start boarding school. When she arrives at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, the adventure begins...only not quite as Alice-Miranda expects. The minute she sets foot on the school's manicured grounds, she senses that something is wrong: Miss Grimm, the headmistress, is nowhere to be seen; the gardens have no flowers; and a mysterious stranger seems to be hiding out on the premises.
Alice-Miranda is set for a luxurious cruise aboard the royal yacht Octavia, where the wedding of Aunt Charlotte and the famous actor Lawrence Ridley will be taking place. All her family and lots of her friends will be there! But it's not just the rumours of a jewel thief onboard giving Alice-Miranda one of her strange feelings. Why does the ship's doctor look so familiar? And who is the shy blond boy hiding in one of the suites? Can Alice-Miranda solve the mystery in time for the celebrations?
Alice-Miranda is thrilled to be back at school, where the girls are preparing a play with the neighbouring boys' school. But it's not all glitter and stage lights: there are rumours of a witch in the woods, and Jacinta and Millie are clashing with a rude new student, Sloane, and her pushy mother, September, who's plotting to steal the fortune she's always dreamed of. It's up to Alice-Miranda to set things right!