Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (Jennifer Allison)

If you're a fan of "Nancy Drew" or "Harriet the Spy," you better read "Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator." Gilda is a 13-year-old girl, still recovering from the passing of her father, who didn't make it through his battle with cancer a couple of years back. Gilda's love for the supernatural makes her want to contact her father, and she wants to put her psychic abilities to use, so she decides to become a psychic investigator. During class one day, Gilda's teacher asks what she's doing for the summer, and she accidentally blurts out that she is going to San Francisco, which is, of course, not the truth. In her attempt to prove to her teacher, classmates and best friend, Wendy, that she is really going from her boring town in Michigan to the exciting beautiful city in California, she invites herself to stay with her distant relative, Lester Splinter, a wealthy businessman who lives in a mansion. With her crafty ways, she ends up in the Splinter mansion and finds out it likely is haunted by the spirit of Lester's late sister Melanie, who jumped to her death there 10 years ago. Along with Lester's gloomy daughter, Juliet, who's the same age is Gilda, she investigates the suicide. After I read this book, I barely had fingernails left. Allison lets the suspense build up until you think you'll burst, and then reveals the secret, so you'll be flipping the pages! Gilda has a great personality: she's spunky, clever and doesn't give up, no matter what. She is a strong person and deals with things carefully. Another great thing about this book is that it isn't like lots of "ghost stories," where there are cobwebs, black cats and ghosts lurking in corners. It's realistic, which is one reason why it's hard to put down. "Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator" is the first in a series of Gilda Joyce mysteries, and I bet that when you finish, you'll be dying to read the next! Ages 9-14.

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