- Title: Haunted (Eye Spy Series 2)
- Author: Tessa Buckley
- Publisher: Matador on July 27, 2021
- Genre: Middle Grade Fiction/Mystery
- Pages: 169
- Formats Available: Paperback, & Digital
- Rating: 5/5
Trigger Warnings: Bullying
Many thanks to Tessa Buckley for providing me with a digital copy of Haunted with a request for an honest review. Also, thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the tour and for providing the materials needed for this post.
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Alex doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he is about to have his beliefs challenged…
When Jimmy Devlin asks the twins to investigate the strange things that have been happening at The Priory, Alex seizes the opportunity to prove to his sister that there is no such thing as ghosts. However, it soon becomes clear that unquiet spirits are not the only problem facing the Devlin family.
Are the family servants hiding secrets? Has a valuable ring been stolen, or just mislaid? And what has happened to Jimmy’s missing elder brother, Harry? As the twins and Jimmy try to solve the many mysteries of The Priory, they discover they are dealing with a very dangerous enemy…Provided by Rachel’s Random Resources for Tour Use
Tessa Buckley’s newest novel, Haunted, is a delightful mystery for middle-grade students. This book is the second in the Eye Spy series. Tessa’s story had me all in a dither. I kept guessing who the culprit was yet didn’t figure it out until close to the end. My hunches failed me with this one.
Alex and Donna make up the duo of the Eye Spy detective company. They solved one case and are now ready for their second. When an old friend moves back to the area, he convinces himself that the house he lives in has ghosts. Intrigued by Jimmy’s announcement, the trio set up a sleepover to find out what exactly is going on at The Priory. After much grumbling by Jimmy’s father, the kids find many disturbing bits of evidence. A crime is going to happen. Will the trio solve it in time?
Alex is a great narrator. He is bright and clever, and when he gets his head around an idea, he hangs on for dear life. Donna is equally bright and clever, but it seems clear that Alex is the leader of this group. Donna has too many other things going on to put her head fully into the investigation. Jimmy is a darling boy. His father is quite a jerk, but Jimmy has the sweet qualities of his mother. I enjoyed this trio a lot. I hope that Jimmy gets to join Alex and Donna in their investigative endeavors in the future.
I liked the setting of The Priory. The property was once the home of Franciscan monks, and there is even a dilapidated church on the property. Each room in the home offers a strange story, but the priest’s stairs are a fascinating addition to the home. I am always thrilled with hidden passages and such in a middle-grade mystery. They add an air of intrigue that you don’t usually get in a contemporary adult mystery.
With Haunted being the second book of the series, I worried that about a lack of coherency. However, this book works well as a stand-alone novel. You find details from the first book scattered throughout this novel. Yet, these details didn’t detract from the story at all. I wouldn’t have guessed this is a series.
I award Haunted a full 5 out of 5 stars. I couldn’t ask for more than this mystery gave me. As I said, I guessed right till the end, so I can see middle graders loving the mystery this book contains. I recommend this novel to middle graders. I also recommend it for younger children who like someone to read to them, as they will enjoy this book too.
About the Author – Tessa Buckley
Tessa Buckley was an inveterate scribbler as a child, and spent much of her time writing and illustrating stories. After studying Interior Design, she spent fifteen years working for architects and designers. She took up writing again after her young daughter complained that she couldn’t find enough adventure stories to read. This led, in 2016, to the publication of Eye Spy, the first in a series of detective stories for 9-12 year olds, designed to encourage reluctant readers. The second book in the series, Haunted, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2017.
Tessa lives with her husband and a large white cat called Pippa. in a town on the Thames estuary, which inspired the seaside setting for the novels. She also writes about health and nutrition, and family history, which has been her passion for many years.