Thank you to Netgalley and Subterranean Press for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This will be available to buy June 30th.
Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids meets The Haunting of Hill House (the Netflix show) in this eerie tale about a grown-up Scobby-esque group wanting to solve one more mystery. Told from the perspective of Harlowe, the orphaned “brains” of the group, this book was more ghost story than mystery.
Harlowe, who isn’t ready to stop being a teen-sleuth and start paying for things like insurance, convinces the rest of the mystery solvers (Andy, Addison, and Kevin) to join her in a “haunted” house, to discover who actually owns it: two of three families are offering a pretty penny to anyone who can find proof of ownership (each hoping it’s theirs). The catch? The whole “haunted” thing. It seems no one has been able to last in the house long enough to discover who owns it.
Mira Grant did a wonderful job of setting an eerie tone, making the house feel like a separate, malevolent character in its own right. Her choice of wording, especially in the first couple of chapters, was perfect. She chose atmospheric horror over gobs of gore, which was fantastic for this sort of book.
I actually felt that the house was a more developed character than any of the actual people in this book- including Harlowe, unfortunately. I liked Kevin, but I felt that none of the characters were fully realized or grew at all.
The reason for this could be that this book wasn’t all that long. It could have benefited from an extra hundred pages or so. That’s not the say I didn’t enjoy this book- I did. I liked it a lot. The setup was fantastic, and the ending was creative. But..it wasn’t amazing.
It’s worth reading, but if you want a good representation of the “grown up Scooby gang”, grab Meddling Kids as well.