This is a genre I enjoyed a lot as a tween but haven't indulged in for years (well, decades), so it was fun to return to it. Melody is a delightful character--intelligent and precocious, but also prone to mood swings and irrational fears--and her parents are also charmingly humorous, as are the interactions between the characters. In proper tale-of-the-fantastic form, the mystery that presents itself originally seems like it could have a mundane explanation, but as the story unfolds, we discover--of course!--that things are more than they seem, and it is up to our intrepid sleuths to get to the bottom of the mystery. Be warned: the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, presumably setting up further installments in the series.
The book goes back and forth between concrete detail of ordinary life--going out to dinner, visiting the library--and supernatural activity in a way that some readers might find disconcerting, but that I personally enjoyed a lot and thought that it added to the charm of the story. The dialogue sparkled with lighthearted wit, and pretty much every chapter contained scenes that elicited a heartwarming chuckle. While the murder and haunting that form the basis of the story means that it is probably a little too scary for very small children, overall, this is a fun, easy-to-read book (I raced through it in a couple of sessions) that can be enjoyed by adults and, I would think, by tweens (Melody is 12) as well.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)