When someone burns down the home of the school janitor and he dies in the blaze, everyone in Addamsville, Indiana, points a finger at Zora. Never mind that Zora has been on the straight and narrow since her father was thrown in jail. With everyone looking for evidence against her, her only choice is to uncover the identity of the real killer. There’s one big problem—Zora has no leads. No one does. Addamsville has a history of tragedy, and thirty years ago a similar string of fires left several townspeople dead. The arsonist was never caught.
Now, Zora must team up with her cousin Artemis—an annoying self-proclaimed Addamsville historian—to clear her name. But with a popular ghost-hunting television show riling up the townspeople, almost no support from her family and friends, and rumors spinning out of control, things aren’t looking good. Zora will have to read between the lines of Addamsville’s ghost stories before she becomes one herself.
His permanence ended while Addamsville slept.
When I went to read this book, I thought it was going to be a cute mystery oriented book. And it was! And I am so glad it was because I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of fun moments in here, although there were a couple parts that I was less interested in. Overall, I think I enjoyed this book more than her previous ones. There was just something both fun, and lighthearted about it, as well as serious moments. To me this book worked. This book is what I was expecting Meddling Kids (a riff off Scooby-Doo) to be like. And so I was pleasantly surprised.
This book was so atmospheric. There is something creepy about it, but also so home-y feeling. It was such a strange, but good, contrast. I was swept up in this story for about 90% of the book. And that’s because the pacing was excellent – I felt that things were revealed on a need to know basis. That you learned slowly about this strange and odd place. And that made it seem unreal.
I was Zora Novak, after all, arsonist and delinquent.
The characters though, I loved the characters. I think they were all so unique and fully-formed. They all had such interesting personalities, and I liked how many of them were related, and it gave the book more of the small town feeling it was going for. Plus, you know, mysterious guys who commit murder are totally boyfriend material, right? They are not, in fact. The relationships among these characters are both hilarious and intense. There is so much going on all the time between siblings and cousins and couples and it is fun. I will say that, I was not expecting to find this as much fun as I did.
I wasn’t interested in anyone because I had a ver specific set of aesthetics that appealed to me, and two of them were “old-world vampire” and “Outsides-style greaser”. It wasn’t my fault Bach managed to land in the center of that Venn diagram.
Zora is lovely, and nuanced. You’re going to be prone to like her. Even if she makes mistakes, she is likeable. I think her wit and attitude is great. And she pushes and moves the plot along in great sweeping strokes. It was a blast – this plot. Ghost hunters? Yes. Totally yes. Kids messing with ghost hunters? Also yes. Ghost hunters doing evil things? Check!
And I will admit, the consistent thwarting of the main characters by this TV crew was the most annoying part. Because at a certain point it became boring and predictable. I wish that it had been used less than that. But everything came together in the end, which was spectacular, and definitely seems like it’s open for a sequel? I have no clue, but I wouldn’t mind a sequel because there are some plot points left open. (I would like answers!)
And finally, I enjoyed the writing. It flowed, and it was clear. The dialogue was also great. Between the prose and dialogue this book made my day!
I would recommend this to people who like the spooky oddball kind of stories!