Title: Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator
Author: Jennifer Allison
What it's about: Gilda Joyce is a thirteen year old girl with a love of drama and mystery. Among other things, she fancies herself a novelist and a psychic investigator. Summer vacation has rolled around, and Gilda gets herself invited to stay with her mother's second cousin Lester Splinter and his daughter Juliet over the break. The California mansion where the Splinter's live is like something out of a ghost story, including the creepy tower in the backyard. To make things even creepier, Juliet's Aunt Melanie committed suicide ten years before, and Juliet thinks she sees her aunt's ghost. To Gilda, it's the perfect chance to add some excitement to her life and kick off her career as a psychic investigator.
What I thought: Like the Kiki Strike books, I thought this would be kind of shallow and dumb. I was thankfully very wrong. Gilda is of an interesting type of main character, the kind of person who's not afraid to look dumb, and consequently, she does end up looking dumb at some points. Very tenacious and dramatic, but not without doubts, either, which is a nice thing. I also have to like how the existence of the supernatural is kept ambiguous, not disproved or endorsed. Gives a nice air of mystery to things. There are some genuinely creepy moments in the book, too, but also some really funny ones. I actually laughed out loud at least once, and I'm not one to do that often. I'm definitely interested in reading more of the books in this series. If the library has the next one in stock, I'm picking it up.
Overall: A very fun and captivating book.