Sunday, June 19, 2011

YA Weekend

I like Gilda Joyce, thirteen-year-old self-styled Psychic Investigator. She's plucky, both a throwback to Harriet the Spy and Nancy Drew and a thoroughly modern girl. Frankly, mysteries were more interesting before the Internet and cell phones, so Gilda's quirky preferences for a typewriter and outrageous costumes over constant texting and Googling are very welcome. And very well-explained, as she uses her father's old typewriter to share her thoughts and feelings with his spirit, and to type up her investigation reports. Her father's death was also her impetus for becoming a psychic investigator, as she years to talk with him again. In this, the fifth book, Gilda is headed to St. Augustine (the nation's oldest city!) for her mother's wedding. Yes, Mrs. Joyce has met a man on the internet and decided to marry him. Gilda is highly skeptical of Mr. Pook, as her letters home to her friend Wendy Choy demonstrate. Gilda knows there's something wrong with Mr. Pook...or is she just resistant to any man not her father? She must uncover the truth about Mr. Pook, help teen neighbor Darla embrace her talent for seeing ghosts, and plan her mother's ideal Southern Belle Wedding. In addition, she must do an extra assignment - a travelogue for Mrs. Rabido's class.

This is a fun entry in the series. The setting of St. Augustine is unique, and Gilda's hilarious reports to Mrs. Rabido provide historical background for the area. Gilda's over-the-top costumes take on a new dimension in the South, and her frustration with Darla's reluctance to see ghosts rings true. The mystery provides some genuine chills, and Gilda, as always, is up to the task of solving it.

Start with the first book, GILDA JOYCE, PSYCHIC INVESTIGATOR.

Source disclosure: I purchased this book.

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