The Tale of Holly How – The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter – Book 2

“A mystery that’s a stellar tribute to the famous children’s author. As charming as the ‘little books’ themselves, this is sure to delight Beatrix Potter fans and cozy lovers everywhere.”
—Publishers Weekly *

Miss Potter has returned to Hill Top Farm to oversee the renovation of the old farmhouse and buy some sheep from Ben Hornby, whose Herdwicks are known as the best in the county. But when Old Ben dies in a fall from a clifftop, Miss Potter (and her animal friends: Tabitha Twitchet, Crumpet, and Rascal) need to know what happened to the shepherd and to his missing Herdwicks and their lambs.

And if that’s not enough to keep Miss Potter busy, there’s the sad plight of a young Caroline, who has come to live with her grandmother at Tidmarsh Manor–not a happy arrangement, it seems. And at the top of Holly How (the Lake District word for “hill”) lives the venerable Bosworth Badger XVII. He feels he must do something (but what?) about the disappearance of a badger mother and her two cubs, kidnapped by a ruthless badger-hunter and destined to be victims of the vicious sport of badger-baiting in the barn behind the Sawrey Hotel.

Who could guess that all of these mysteries might be related? Why, she of the observant eye: Miss Potter, of course!

The Tale of Holly How is the second book in Susan Wittig Albert’s eight Cottage Tales–a delightful, collectible series for readers of all ages.


Praise for The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter

“A mystery that’s a stellar tribute to the famous children’s author. As charming as the ‘little books’ themselves, this is sure to delight Beatrix Potter fans and cozy lovers everywhere.”
—Publishers Weekly *

—Kirkus Reviews

“Ms. Albert has a light whimsical touch and integrates animal and human thoughts and conversations in a refreshing, matter-of-fact of way. Delightful and charming old fashioned village mystery, with a twist. It should appeal to teens, animal lovers, and devotees of Beatrix Potter of all ages.”
—Judith Rovenger, Youth Services Consultant for the Westchester Library System, Ardsley NY

“…’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.”
—Cindy Harrison, 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

“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

Lady Longford’s Favorite Ginger Cake

Ginger, which arrived in England as early as the eleventh century, was a favorite flavoring of the Victorian era and was regularly grown in the hothouses and conservatories of the wealthy. This dessert, made with a full quarter-cup of fresh ginger plus hefty helpings of powdered ginger and cinnamon, is distinctively different from recipes of our own day. If Lady Longford weren’t so stingy, her favorite cake would have been served with lemon curd.

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1/4 cup grated fresh ginger root
grated zest of half a lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9” Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the grated ginger root, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar before serving.