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Heather grew up in a vicarage, which meant her life was filled with a tapestry of random and interesting characters. But what influenced her most was her mum, who could create stories from thin air. Heather trained as a primary teacher and taught until her sons were born. They often brought toys and other objects to her to be included in bedtime stories. Her sons grew older, but Heather carried on creating, her first children's story book being published in 1996. She later wrote resources for teachers, was writer-in-residence at several schools and lead whole school story writing workshops across the UK. She discussed her book Helping Children Think About Bereavement (Routledge 2013) on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour just as Us Minus Mum was accepted for publication. It marks a return to writing fiction and is her first book with Little, Brown.
Charlie and Julia are certain that the sleepy village of Peddle-Worth must contain some mysteries for their brand new agency - The Milkshake Detectives - to solve. All they need to do is find them! So when somebody called 'The Bear' starts leaving strange clues, they can't wait to put their spy skills to use. The only problem? Everyone else wants to join in the bear hunt too! Not least, Charlie's new step-brothers who are quite possibly the most irritating boys on the planet. But with the competition heating up, Charlie might be missing a more important mystery. And this one lies a lot closer to home . . . Heather Butler's first novel, Us Minus Mum, has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2015 and shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards.