Winnie Pepper lives at Starcross Hall with her parents, Lord and Lady Pepper, and an unusual range of pets. There is Knitbone the dog, Gabriel the goose, Valentine the hare, Orlando the monkey, and Martin the hamster. However, the most unusual thing about the animals is that they are all dead. They are ghosts called Beloveds – animals whose love for their masters is so great that they return after death. Knitbone was Winnie’s beloved dog and now he is her special ghost.
One day, Winnie’s dad, who is eccentric to say the least, has a wonderful idea – he loves hats and so he decides to turn Starcross Hall into a hat museum. He buys thousands of hats and then realises that they have no money left to tidy up Starcross and to advertise their new venture. So Winnie invites a journalist to come and be amused by the hats and thrilled by the ghosts. However, things go wrong and the journalist writes an article saying how terrible Starcross is. The Pepper family thinks that this will keep people away, but on the day of the Grand Opening they come in droves, excited at the prospect of awful hats and being tickled by ghosts. The Starcross Hall Hat Museum is a success.
However, this is not the end of the story. The Pepper family decide to invite Circus Tombellini to perform in their grounds whilst they are displaying the Eye of Mumbai – a turban with a large and famous ruby. Whilst the Eye of Mumbai is at Starcross the Pepper family must protect it from Magpie McCraken, a most unusual jewel thief.
Both the circus and the turban arrive. Everyone loves the circus, but Knitbone notices a strange shadow in the tent. There seems to be a ghostly presence, and with it an unfinished story of a Beloved not yet reunited with their master. Can Knitbone and the gang, reunite the mysterious Roojoo with his master and can they prevent Magpie McCracken from stealing the Eye of Mumbai?
This is a delightful story of friendship, family and madcap happenings told with humour and kindness. Winnie is an endearing heroine and her animal friends are a joy. This hilarious and imaginative tale is accompanied by fun illustrations which have a enticingly retro feel.