Reviews for Bones of the Holy

Booklist Reviews 2011 May #1
The mystery is close to home in this fifth title in the Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator series, which begins with the teen sleuth's realization that her single mom is lying about an upcoming vacation with a friend. Sure enough, when her mother returns, Gilda discovers that her mother was exploring a new romance, which has blossomed rapidly into an engagement, and the whole family is heading to Florida for the abruptly planned wedding. On arrival in small St. Augustine, Gilda finds the town crawling with ghosts, and although she usually relishes encounters with the supernatural, she becomes increasingly concerned about her mother's odd behavior and a deeply spooky past her mother's fianc seems to be hiding. Once again, Allison uses a variety of inventive formats, including letters, spy reports, and dreams, to tell an original, otherworldly mystery that finds humor in the realistic, emotional complexity that comes with blending families: Gilda types up a new family member application for her potential stepfather, for example. As smart and spirited as ever, Gilda will attract newcomers while continuing to please her fans. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews 2006 October #2
The spirited sleuth who first appeared in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (2005) is less than pleased when her mother enrolls her in a well-respected (but somewhat quirky) Catholic girls school. Gilda's only solace is the rumor that the place is haunted. Though virtually all the adults are played for laughs and the plot could have used some tightening, sassy, stubborn Gilda shines, and an admirable lesson about compassion is gently but firmly tucked between chuckles. ((Reviewed October 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
When her mother announces imminent plans to marry a man she's just met online, Gilda Joyce's psychic suspicions are immediately roused. A destination wedding in history-rich St. Augustine, Florida, would certainly seem to invite ghosts--and Gilda is determined to find some. The combination of a well-meaning, resolute heroine with a vivid setting results in a lively story that's both funny and suspenseful. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
In this second novel featuring "psychic investigator" Gilda Joyce, the setting is exclusive girls' school Our Lady of Sorrows. After learning of a student's drowning in the nearby lake, Gilda vows to untangle the circumstances surrounding the girl's death by using journalistic techniques, creative traps, and her supposed psychic powers. Humorous misadventures lighten a genuinely intriguing mystery full of spooky supernatural elements. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 May #2

In this fifth Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator installment, amateur sleuth Gilda travels to historic St. Augustine to encounter a ghostly woman in white and ends up literally buried in another baffling mystery.

Horrified when her mother returns from a getaway weekend in St. Augustine engaged to an antiques dealer named Eugene Pook, whom she met on the Internet and plans to marry immediately, Gilda experiences her "psychic signal," a tickling in her left ear, warning something unusual or dangerous is about to occur. Arriving in St. Augustine for the wedding, Gilda finds Eugene to be "older, plump, walruslike" and definitely weird. She loves the ghost tour of St. Augustine, "one of the most haunted cities in the entire United States," but is surprised when Eugene's 12-year-old neighbor confesses she's seen a spectral woman in white in his house. Gilda discovers Eugene had been jilted years before by his fiancée, Charlotte, who looked just like Gilda's mother and mysteriously vanished. Now Eugene seems to be re-creating his aborted wedding. Could the woman in white be Charlotte's ghost? Local ghost tales, Gilda's spy records, letters and travelogue flesh out the account of how this sassy wannabe investigator tries to save her mother from Charlotte's fate.

Gilda fans will rally to her latest caper, while newcomers should revel in her ghostly escapades in old St. Augustine. (Mystery. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 May #1
PW's starred review said of Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, "Jennifer Allison's debut novel introduces a spunky, appealingly eccentric 13-year-old who identifies with Harriet the Spy and may well rival her for readers' affections." Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake finds the heroine at the heart of a mystery involving the drowning death of a student whose ghost supposedly haunts the private girls' high school that Gilda is attending on a scholarship. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Review 2006 September

Gr 6-9 Gilda Joyce, psychic investigator, makes a return appearance in this comic mystery set at a swanky Catholic girls’ school where she is a new student on scholarship. Our Lady of Sorrows seems haunted by the ghost of a student who drowned three years earlier. Gilda’s encounters with the headmistress, a handsome teacher, and a small group of popular senior girls lead her to a situation in which she might solve the mystery at the expense of her own safety. Meanwhile, she’s not crazy about her widowed mother’s unemployed boyfriend. Gilda is a verbal, funny, engaging character whose self-confidence and fearlessness are more reminiscent of Nancy Drew than Sammy Keyes. And, like the classic old series mysteries, this one has an exaggerated sense of reality that usually works well. Occasionally the mix of humor and spookiness doesn’t quite mesh, and an anti-hazing plot is worthwhile but a bit heavy on the didacticism. More often, though, this is an intriguing story filled with surprise and suspense. Its length is a plus in that it allows for more complexity. (For instance, Mom’s boyfriend turns out to be not quite the clown that Gilda had imagined.) Overall, it’s an irreverent, well-written addition to the too-small collection of engrossing mysteries for junior high readers.Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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