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Cobweb-filled attics, time-travel, ghosts, and two very adventurous young sleuths are the mix of this novel that middle readers will love.

Book Review: The Missing Locket by Mary Cunningham

The Missing Locket is a paranormal mystery featuring two lovable young sleuths that girls nine and up will absolutely love. It is the perfect, darkly atmospheric story for young fans of intrigue and adventure to cuddle up with on those gray, rainy afternoons or read in bed.

It is the summer of 1964 and Gus and Cynthia, two best friends who are very different from each other yet very close, are bored out of their minds. Then they have an idea – why not explore Cynthia’s old and mysterious attic? After all, Cynthia lives in one of those huge mansions with three floors and lots of rooms, the perfect kind of house that stimulates young imaginations.

In the attic, among all the antiques, spiders and cobwebs, they discover a huge, dust-covered old trunk. When they open it, they find an old, dirty, pink ballet costume and slippers, which Cynthia, unable to resist, quickly tries on. Then something very strange happens: Cynthia begins to dance and twirl with the effortless beauty of a ballerina!

Stunned, she soon takes off the costume. But as she and Gus head towards the door, the unimaginable happens – they’re ‘pulled’ back to the trunk as if by magic, and the attic changes, becoming cold and still when only a moment ago it had been hot and muggy. What’s even more strange, the ballet costume and the trunk now look brand new!

Under the costume, they discover a sailor dress, and this time Gus tries it on, with drastic consequences – she’s whisked in time back to 1914, to the time when her grandmother was only twelve years old. Of course, later on, Cynthia joins Gus, and together they must help their Aunt Belle and solve the mystery of the missing, bell-shaped locket, an adventure that takes them over on a steamship across the Atlantic, and where they make friends with a young boy’s ghost.

Talented author Mary Cunningham has drawn a delightful, intriguing fantasy world that will delight middle readers. Her love for storytelling and for the genre really comes through the pages. The pace is quick and there’s enough twists and turns to keep juvenile fans of mystery guessing. The characters of Gus and Cynthia are sympathetic and interesting and young girls will be able to identify with them. This is the first book in the series and I certainly look forward to reading the second book, The Magic Medallion, soon.

About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.

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