Fourteen year old William Howbbler travels to Avenfore for the first time since the mysterious incident ten years previously which caused his father to move the family to the city. It is a mixed blessing for William, he will be separated from his family for the first time in his life, but he will be staying with his aunt and uncle in Avenfore, the only place he truly calls home. And, in the autumn, he’ll be attending St Elm’s, one of the most prestigious schools in the country. When he delivers a letter to his father’s old friend, Abelard Greewoof, he discovers why his father had had to leave town.
Reunited with his cousin, Elsie Harckwell, and her friends, Bridget Durffan and Bridget’s older brother, Chris, William settles into Avenfore. But soon William realises that his life is in danger and all the happiness for having returned to his dreamed home town, turns into fear.
When William visits the local big house, Ravenwood Castle, he meets Amaranta Bonclane a girl with a shadowy past. Amaranta quickly becomes part of William’s group of friends, but she confides to William that she too has a secret.
William and Amaranta find themselves caught up in a dangerous struggle with an evil man, Ignatius Nosmorum – the Wicked Crow, as they seek to find a coded book of secrets missing for the past four centuries. Amaranta proves quite daring. She persuades the two boys to investigate a derelict fairground, where they have to fight with an unexpected enemy.
Amaranta has left for London. William, Chris and Abelard, travel to London to try to prevent another kidnap attempt which they believe will take place at the Royal Opera House. Sure enough, the Wicked Crow and his spy try to spirit Amaranta away. William confronts the Wicked Crow and he chases William through the streets of London.
Back in Avenfore, William, Amaranta and Chris follow the clues left by Mr Seblean trying to find the Book of Knights Templar Errant.
The Secret of Avenfore: William the Kingfisher is a book for young readers looking for a captivating story with characters that feel just like them, a passionate world full of mystery, adventure, spies, intrigue, secrets and fun. Where danger is fought with bravery, problems with friendship, fear with fortitude, mistakes with amendment, sorrow with love.