The Tale of Hill Top Farm – The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter – Book 1

“In the debut title of a new, lighthearted series inspired by the charming children’s author, Beatrix Potter buys a farm in England while her animal friends set out to solve a mystery. For all ages, from young adult to adult.”
—Library Journal

Spiced with gentle mystery and peopled with earthy and endearing villagers, The Tale of Hill Top Farm introduces Miss Beatrix Potter at a time of crisis, just after the death of her fiancé, Norman Warne.

While Beatrix deals with her intractable parents, the loss of her heart’s love, and the challenges of becoming a farmer, her animal friends—Tabitha Twitchit, the senior village cat; Rascal, the courageous terrier; and the wise and cunning cat Crumpet—quietly go about solving mysteries, restoring harmony, and making sure that life in the village stays as peaceable as it looks.

The Tale of Hill Top Farm is the first book in Susan Wittig Albert’s series of eight Cottage Tales. A collectible series for readers of all ages.


Praise for The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

“Albert successfully conveys the atmosphere of Potter’s own writing and pictures…The reader is plunged into a magical yet real world of people with problems and animals with common sense. This is the first of a series. Bring on the rest!”
—Janet Overmyer,

“An exceptional mystery novel where we not only get to see some puzzles solved, but we also meet some wonderfully rich and vibrant characters. The reader also gets a wonderful picture of English village life and a tantalizing look into the heart and soul of one of the world’s most famous children’s book writers.”
—The Looking Glass Review

“…This is a book for all ages, but it seems to fit the bill perfectly for middle-schoolers who are looking for mysteries and like animal stories…Beatrix is not only an author and illustrator, she is a first-rate sleuth. We bet this series will appeal to you and your middle-school mystery fan.” —The Detroit Free Press

“In the rough and violent genre of modern mysteries, this novel is an oasis of peace and offbeat charm.”
—Bookends, Winchester

“A perfectly charming cozy, as full of English country loam, leaf, and lamb as could be desired.”

“…’Gentle’ seems the best way to describe The Tale of Hill Top Farm. ‘Pastoral,’ perhaps would also give the right impression; it is an escape from telephones and traffic and tv (and murder mysteries) to a slower time, when the loss of the Parish Register is a dreadful thing. Animal lovers will enjoy this book.”
—Midwest Book Review

“This slowly unfolding tale is lovingly told in a style that’s in perfect accord with the bygone age it describes.”
—Romantic Times Book Club

“The Tale of Hill Top Farm is a gentle mystery that is captivating, whimsical, and downright delightful. Susan Albert has taken an idea, run with it, and produced a novel that is both innovative and imaginatively believable.”
—Mary Ann Symthe, for


Miss Potter’s Recipe for Gingersnaps

Beatrix Potter recalled with pleasure her Grandmama Compton’s “very hard gingersnap biscuits.” Hard cookies kept for a very long time on the pantry shelf—unless, of course, they were eaten first.  These gingersnaps are chewy, rather than hard.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup treacle (light or golden molasses)
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Melt shortening in saucepan, over low heat.  Cool.  Beat in sugar, molasses and egg.  Sift flour, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and salt together, and add to first mixture in two batches, mixing well.  Form into 1-inch balls, roll in granulated sugar, and place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake in 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Makes about 3 dozen.