Wednesday, January 06, 2010

First Clues Review: Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
The Gilda Joyce Mysteries

Puffin (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-14-240698-8 (0142406988)
ISBN-13: 978-0-14-240698-4 (9780142406984)
Publication Date: November 2006
List Price: $6.99

Review written by Sarah, a 6th grade student. Date of review: January 2010.

Review: Haunted mansion, footsteps at night, suicide, spooky tower, and séances! They all come together in my current favorite book, Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, (which is a first in a series) by Jennifer Allison. Scary, mysterious, suspenseful and, at the same time, exciting and funny are all the feelings that I felt as I read through the book. Get ready for a gut-wrenching and mind-blowing ride!

Thirteen years old Gilda Joyce, a self-claimed psychic investigator, is going to San Francisco to visit a newly discovered distant and rich uncle, Lester Splinter and his daughter, Juliet. The first person she meets there is the housekeeper who tells her the mansion the Splinters live in is haunted. Footsteps are heard late at night in the house, and strange sounds come from a mysterious tower connected to the house. Her cousin, Juliet, is a frail, skinny, and solitary girl who is also 13. She is anything but thrilled to see Gilda at first. As Gilda warms up to the family, Juliet starts revealing some of the mysteries around the house. Juliet had an aunt who was an artist and acted very bizarre sometimes. One day she “fell” out of the window on top of the spooky tower to her death. Soon Gilda hears the footsteps and strange sound at night herself and decides to solve the mystery once and for all. However the girls are strictly forbidden to enter the tower. Armed with Gilda’s numerous hilarious and brilliant ideas, Gilda and Juliet tried desperately to get into the tower without being caught to find answers to all the mysteries. Do they succeed? What did they see in the tower? Do they find out what really happened to Juliet’s aunt? Is the house really haunted?

This is an absolutely sensational book that will grasp your mind from cover to cover. I read it through in one shot and love every bit of it! The author not only did a fantastic job at making the plot so real that I felt like I was part of the story as I read it, but also at making each character so vividly described, like ”Mr. Splinter's shoulders stiffened and his face contorted for a split second, resembling the lopsided grimace one makes when avoiding tears.” I can “see” Mr. Splinter’s facial expression. I could not thank the author enough for creating such a real character, Gilda Joyce. She is a smart, outgoing and adventurous girl like me. I feel like I was her in the story. I think what she thinks, I feel what she feels. I get frightened when she is scared. I am exhilarated when she is excited. I followed the story through her eyes as the story is unfolded. There is only one thing that was disappointing to me, that is the end of story when Gilda returns home in Detroit. It seems a bit unnecessary because it is not directly related to the actual case. Overall this book is astounding and deserves a rating of 4.5 stars! I look forward to reading the next book of the series: The Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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