Published by Clarion Books on September 6th 2010
Number of Pages: 160
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal
Purchase: At Amazon
When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents' death.
But Florence doesn't expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it's too late?
This was a fairly quick read, though not up to the usual scary standards I’ve come to expect from this author. There was a bit of suspense, but it never got to even slightly creepy. All the workers at the Hall seemed to know Sophia’s ghost was haunting them, and had been a wicked child. But Florence’s Aunt and Uncle had no idea.
Florence’s Aunt hated her on sight, and believed the worst about her. While at the same time, thinking Sophie had been the next thing to an Angel. Constantly yelling at Florence and trying to get her sent away from the Hall. It was a bit unbelievable that she would hate a child so much, and so instantly. Even when the reason was revealed, I just couldn’t like her at all.
Sophie seemed too easily laid to rest as well. And the end of the book just kind of ended. Everything was wrapped up neatly (and not very believably) and the characters went on their merry way. If you haven’t read a book by this author before, don’t start with this one.