Lulu’s life had turned into a nightmare. Her father was going to marry Varminta Le Bone, author of How to Be As Thin As Me, who acted sugar-sweet in front of him, and like Cruella de Ville when he wasn’t around. And Varminta’s son, Torquil, was just as bad—always trying to get Lulu to buy into his get-rich-quick schemes, and lying about everything. No matter what Lulu did or said, they twisted it around to make themselves look good, and Lulu look bad. Varminta even fired their housekeeper, Aileen, because she stood up for Lulu. Torquil stole Lulu’s favorite pictures of her mother, who died when Lulu was only five—they were the most precious things Lulu had, the only way she had of remembering and even talking to her mother. Lulu couldn’t understand how her father could even think of marrying such an awful woman—and it was even harder to understand why she would want to marry him! Sometimes, it seemed like she only wanted to marry him for the things he could buy her.

As horrified as Lulu was about this, it all made sense and fit with the way Varminta had been acting from the beginning. All Lulu had to do was get Varminta to tell her dad the truth. But that was virtually impossible. Varminta would never ruin her big chance for a comeback. However, that was before Lulu’s birthday, when Lulu walked into Otto Lunch’s bookstore, where people didn’t find books, books found people. And a little cookbook called The Apple Star found Lulu.

But once Lulu read the list of ingredients, things got complicated again. It seemed that making Truth Cookies wasn’t going to be so easy. But surely she’d be able to find the ingredients somewhere. After all, the book had found her, and there was an inscription on the front page, “For my lovely Lulu. Happy birthday! Lots of love, Mum.” That had to mean something. Hadn’t it?