Reviews for Ladies of the Lake

Booklist Reviews 2006 October #2
The spirited sleuth who first appeared in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (2005) is less than pleased when her mother enrolls her in a well-respected (but somewhat quirky) Catholic girls school. Gilda's only solace is the rumor that the place is haunted. Though virtually all the adults are played for laughs and the plot could have used some tightening, sassy, stubborn Gilda shines, and an admirable lesson about compassion is gently but firmly tucked between chuckles. ((Reviewed October 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
In this second novel featuring "psychic investigator" Gilda Joyce, the setting is exclusive girls' school Our Lady of Sorrows. After learning of a student's drowning in the nearby lake, Gilda vows to untangle the circumstances surrounding the girl's death by using journalistic techniques, creative traps, and her supposed psychic powers. Humorous misadventures lighten a genuinely intriguing mystery full of spooky supernatural elements. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 May #1
PW's starred review said of Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator, "Jennifer Allison's debut novel introduces a spunky, appealingly eccentric 13-year-old who identifies with Harriet the Spy and may well rival her for readers' affections." Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake finds the heroine at the heart of a mystery involving the drowning death of a student whose ghost supposedly haunts the private girls' high school that Gilda is attending on a scholarship. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Review 2006 September

Gr 6-9 Gilda Joyce, psychic investigator, makes a return appearance in this comic mystery set at a swanky Catholic girls’ school where she is a new student on scholarship. Our Lady of Sorrows seems haunted by the ghost of a student who drowned three years earlier. Gilda’s encounters with the headmistress, a handsome teacher, and a small group of popular senior girls lead her to a situation in which she might solve the mystery at the expense of her own safety. Meanwhile, she’s not crazy about her widowed mother’s unemployed boyfriend. Gilda is a verbal, funny, engaging character whose self-confidence and fearlessness are more reminiscent of Nancy Drew than Sammy Keyes. And, like the classic old series mysteries, this one has an exaggerated sense of reality that usually works well. Occasionally the mix of humor and spookiness doesn’t quite mesh, and an anti-hazing plot is worthwhile but a bit heavy on the didacticism. More often, though, this is an intriguing story filled with surprise and suspense. Its length is a plus in that it allows for more complexity. (For instance, Mom’s boyfriend turns out to be not quite the clown that Gilda had imagined.) Overall, it’s an irreverent, well-written addition to the too-small collection of engrossing mysteries for junior high readers.Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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