By Jessica Lawson
Do you love a good mystery? 11–year-old Tabitha Crumb does and so does her sidekick, a pet mouse named Pemberley.
Tabitha is an avid reader of Inspector Pensive mystery novels and dreams of someday working with Scotland Yard as a detective. That day comes sooner than she expects; however, when she and 5 other children of the same age are invited to the notoriously haunted Hollingsworth Hall, the country estate of Countess Camilla DeMoss, to determine who among them is the Countess’s heir. There, they discover that they are in the middle of a mystery as dead bodies appear, spooky noises awaken them in the night, children disappear, secret passages are discovered and nothing is as it seems.
In a plot set in 1907 and written in the style of a Sherlock Holmes mystery with a bit of Roald Dahl mixed in, Tabitha proves to be a plucky and sympathetic character with whom readers will identify as she experiences loneliness, fear, loss and at last hope throughout her adventures and search for love and friendship.
With all of the elements of a well-crafted British mystery, Lawson’s novel will appeal to a wide age group from ages 8 through 12.
Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)