This is a genre I enjoyed a lot as a tween but haven’t indulged in for years (well, decades), so it was fun to return to it. Melody is a delightful character–intelligent and precocious, but also prone to mood swings and irrational fears–and her parents are also charmingly humorous, as are the interactions between the characters. In proper tale-of-the-fantastic form, the mystery that presents itself originally seems like it could have a mundane explanation, but as the story unfolds, we discover–of course!–that things are more than they seem, and it is up to our intrepid sleuths to get to the bottom of the mystery. Be warned: the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, presumably setting up further installments in the series.
The book goes back and forth between concrete detail of ordinary life–going out to dinner, visiting the library–and supernatural activity in a way that some readers might find disconcerting, but that I personally enjoyed a lot and thought that it added to the charm of the story. The dialogue sparkled with lighthearted wit, and pretty much every chapter contained scenes that elicited a heartwarming chuckle. While the murder and haunting that form the basis of the story means that it is probably a little too scary for very small children, overall, this is a fun, easy-to-read book (I raced through it in a couple of sessions) that can be enjoyed by adults and, I would think, by tweens (Melody is 12) as well.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.