Gr 4-6-Kennedy creates a quirky seaside community that reeks with ghostly surprises and odd souls. Misty Gordon, 11, has seen enough junk from the dead to last several lifetimes. Her parents own the Dearly Departed Antiques store in New England, and Misty yearns to ditch their secondhand spoils for more stylish accoutrements. When she reads the diary of Ashcrumb's wealthiest citizen, mysterious events yank her further into the past. She learns that the town's founding families hid an ugly secret that threatens to resurface. Guided by a psychic ghost, Misty races to locate three golden Greek statues ahead of a group of malicious, deceased town scions who seek resurrection and world domination. A sequel seems probable. The action moves briskly, and readers will want to solve the clues along with Misty and her sidekick, Yoshi. However, the characters lack development, and Kennedy sometimes fails to make their motivations and backgrounds clear. There are also extraneous plot threads such as the escaped mayonnaise-craving mental patient that have a tenuous correlation to the main story. For children who like Greek mythology and ghost hunting in a contemporary setting, there's enough here, though, for an appealing adventure.-Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Misty's dad is always finding strange objects for his D.E.A.D. (Deceased's Estate and Antique Dealer) shop, so when he gives 11-year-old Misty an old telephone from Fannie Belcher's estate, she thinks nothing of it at least until an old diary hidden inside the phone hints at a 400-year-old mystery involving pirates and the founding of Ashcrumb, Misty's hometown. When Misty finds a pair of eyeglasses that allows her to see ghosts, she enlists the help of her friend Yoshi to solve the mystery and protect the town. Though the writing is not as polished, this first novel is perfect to hand to fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events or Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Kennedy does an excellent job of creating a sense of place and a feeling of eeriness (extended by black-and-white chapter-opener art), and her characters (especially the unstoppable Misty) are engaging and fun. Although the plot is predictable in places, the story is nonetheless a delightful read, equal parts craziness and humor.--Moore, Melissa Copyright 2010 Booklist