When eleven year old Emily and her mother are forced to move from their house into a cramped, third-floor flat, she has to return the new puppy she has always longed for. To make matters worse, when her mother becomes ill shy Emily is sent to stay with Gertie Pink, the lollipop lady and her boisterous twins.
Emily soon finds herself swept up in the extraordinary events of the Pinks’ household with the dramatic arrival of their eccentric Uncle Wilf whose house has been washed into the sea during a storm. While he is recovering from pneumonia, Emily is thrilled to be given charge of his talking parrot, Autolocus but dreads having to tell the old man when the bird unexpectedly disappears. However, Wilf has a confession of his own to make: he has brought with him Tobias, the ghost of a 17th century pirate who haunted his house in Devon. Visible only to Wilf and Emily, this terrifying buccaneer has a tale of his own to tell.
Autolocus at last returns and the family are amazed when he lays an egg! But one night the priceless, magical egg is stolen, and the parrot is grief-stricken. Emily and the twins must find it quickly, but which of the story’s colourful characters is responsible? And will they rescue it in time?