Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

November 14, 2011

Sammy Keyes and the Night of Skulls

By Wendelin Van Draanen
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

Sammy Keyes is back in her 14th mystery.  It is Halloween and Sammy and her friends are all dressed as zombies, ready to hit houses for some candy.  It is when they decide to cut through the graveyard that things get wonky.  They find someone running with a sack through the graveyard, being chased by a couple of other guys.  When the chasee drops the sack, Sammy's friends scoop it up, thinking it is candy.  Later on, they discover it has 2 skulls in it--which are later proved to be HUMAN skulls.  When Sammy hears of a couple of missing persons in the last month, she puts two and two together and makes four.  What have the gang gotten themselves into?  Her mystery will take her from the graveyard to a funeral parlor to a crypt.  And nevermind the mystery--we get an update on the drama between Sammy and Casey, as well as Heather, Billy, Marissa and Holly.  In short, everything you love about Sammy Keyes is in full force.  If this is your first Sammy Keyes book, head back to the beginning with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief.  You won't regret it!

November 02, 2011

The Aviary

By Kathleen O'Dell
Rating: 4 stars

In this interesting story, Clara has spent her entire life living inside the Glendoveer house, helping to take care of the elderly woman along with her mother and other caretaker Ruby.  Clara has rarely been outside herself and has never been to school due to her heart condition.  Her mother and Ruby run a tight ship, trying to keep the old mansion together, and Clara is content although she misses having friends. Then, Mrs. Glendoveer falls ill, and is very anxious about the aviary outside and the ancient disagreeable birds who live there.  Clara is afraid of the birds, but when she goes outside, one of them speaks Latin to her.  Can the birds talk?  When Mrs. Glendoveer dies and leaves the house to her mother and Ruby, Clara starts to discover that birds hide a great secret.  More than that, there are mysterious stories surrounding the Glendoveers that Clara has never heard.  But when she finally makes a friend with a new girl who moves in nearby, Clara is ready to tackle these mysteries.  But they will lead her to places she never would have believed existed.  Readers who like mystery, history and a touch of magic will be very interested in this story.