Rehearsing a play with boy cast members from a neighboring school, Alice-Miranda and classmates find the production challenged by rumors of a witch in the woods, squabbles with a new student and a pushy mother's get-rich scheme.
When Alice-Miranda goes home to her family's lavish estate for the school holidays, along with her best friend Jacinta, their break is not exactly what they expected because of a cranky boy causing mischief, a visiting movie star, a snooping stranger, and a grandmother with a family secret.
Soon after arriving at the Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, resourceful seven-and-one-quarter-year-old Alice-Miranda finds her new boarding school to be a very curious establishment with no flowers in the gardens, a headmistress that has not been seen for years, and a mysterious stranger that seems to be hiding out on the premises.
"Alice-Miranda is set for a luxurious cruise aboard the royal yacht Octavia, where Aunty Gee is hosting the wedding of Aunt Charlotte and Lawrence Ridley. Wild weather and rumors of a jewel thief throw the travelers into turmoil, but something else is giving Alice-Miranda one of her strange feelings. Why does the ship's doctor look so familiar? And who is the shy blond boy hiding in one of the cabins? When Alice-Miranda seeks help from an unexpected...