Title: All The Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
Scored a: C+
Found this book as a recommended other when I was purchasing The Dollhouse Murders. And while I don’t regret buying this book, and would still do it if I knew what I know now about it, I couldn’t give it a very high score.
Plot: A brother and sister are staying at their grandmother’s B&B for the summer. They decide to pretend to be ghosts to bring more business and in the process wake up the real ghosts.
The problems with this book was one minor thing and one major thing.
The minor was whenever it would delve into referencing real things, like Harry Potter, or the Murder at the Vicarage it stood out like a sore thumb. In fact, the Murder at the Vicarage scene, where a woman purchases the book, is overly long and makes no sense in the context of the story to even be there for that amount of space. I mean, I’m a big fan of that book, but it was odd. Coupled with the fact that previously in the same scene there was a heavy bit of foreshadowing that is immediately forgotten by the rest of the book and never comes to pass, bits like that were just out of place.
The big problem? The conflict and suspense runs out two thirds in, when it’s announced exactly what’s going on and how they’ll solve it and after that it’s just a by the numbers conclusion. There’s a final fight, but it’s not an unexpected one in the slightest.
I did like the characters, and for the most part the writing was an easy read. I don’t regret buying this, that’s for certain. It was good for a little ghost story to read at three am.
There’s a lot of children ghosts in this story who met very bad ends, so if you dislike the deaths of children, give this a pass. If you don’t mind ghost children and a very wicked villain, give it a go.
Warning: A teddybear dies. But it is sufficiently mourned.