PITCH WARS! ALT B-11: MAD AS A HATTER


NAME: Alexandra Hayman

MENTOR: Fiona McLaren

TITLE: MAD AS A HATTER

GENRE: YA supernatural thriller

WORD COUNT: 58K

PITCH: When fourteen-year-old Emil Aleric’s best friend is taken during the Wonderland Murders of London, 1882, it can mean only one thing: his former abductor, the Mad Hatter, is back. And only Emil can find him.

From the warm floor of his sitting room, Emil Aleric glared out the window. It was late afternoon, and the crisp wind had left the streets of Belgravia empty, save for a couple climbing out of a carriage, followed by a butler carrying a dozen gifts. Probably some last minute Christmas shopping.

Emil scowled. He hated happy families.


He looked away from the window, took a gulp of tea, and winced. He’d always thought Earl Grey was some disguised form of dishwater, but every adult he knew drank it, and his mother said it was an acquired taste. He forced himself to take another sip, and looked down at the table in front of him.

One, two, three newspapers lay strewn across the mahogany table. The first newspaper, dated December 16th, 1882, was flipped to the obituaries, where a small paragraph about a girl named Daphne Bell could be found. It was only a few lines, something about her family and “may He bless her immortal soul,” or some such rubbish.

She had been the first to die.

Three days after going missing, she’d apparently fallen from the twentieth building on a wealthy street around Kensington Gardens. Her bashed up, bloody body lay spread-eagled on the ground, with glass protruding from it at the oddest angles.

The funny thing was, all the windows on that street were perfectly intact.

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