October 02, 2006

Gilda Joyce: Lovable Liar

Gilda Joyce is a little fibber. Okay, she's a big fibber, a huge liar, but at least she... um, tries to make the lies she tells come true. Like, she tells her teacher that a.) she writes novels, and b.) is going to San Francisco for the summer. Oops... so neither of those is really true... but Gilda figures out a way to MAKE them true. You've got to love that.

Gilda is also short, cute, freckled... and hates looking like an 11-year-old. She's funny and honest -- even as she exaggerates -- and she tells it like it is. Constantly. Gilda's every thought -- about her doofus brother, about her Mom, about her best friend -- gets typed up on her Dad's old manual typewriter, which he left her when she died. She wants him back so badly. She misses him so much. She is lonely, especially now that her best friend is going to music camp, and leaving her behind for the summer. Her Dad was her shining star... So, it's sometimes easier to lie and just be someone else rather than the girl whose father died. Gilda longs to get into contact with "the other side." She feels sure she can somehow reach her father, and ask him to come back.

Instead of Gilda Joyce, Orphan Girl, Gilda opts to be Gilda Joyce, Detective. She puts on elaborate -- and truly weird -- disguises (that gently drift across the line into "costumes") and spies on the Plaid Pants guy at the mini-mart, and Mrs. Frickle, the wig-maker's widow. And then, after the Plaid Pants Guy surveillance episode blows up in an embarrassing moment, Gilda gets herself invited out of Michigan for the summer, to see her Mom's cousin in San Francisco. Who knew her Mom's cousin had a daughter her age named Juliet? Who knew she'd be so grumpy and weird? Who knew their aunt fell from the rooftop, and died? Who knew the old Victorian house where they lived...was haunted?!

It looks like Gilda's going to get a chance to communicate with "the other side" after all...

This is a real and thoroughly satisfying mystery, none of the plot unfolds itself too quickly or obviously. It's a quick paced, endearing and thoroughly enjoyable read, and Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator will find her fast-talking and freckled way onto your list of favorite books. Can't wait for the sequel from author Jennifer Allison!

4 comments:

a. fortis said...

You know, I think Kristin P. recommended this one to me and I never followed up on it. Glad to hear it's good! I should look for it...

tanita s. davis said...

Also look for the sequel, which is just out this year... Ladies of the Lake or something -- I hope it's just as good; if Jennifer Allison doesn't change the character too much, it will be!

a. fortis said...

Just found this one AND the sequel at my library! Yay for the library.

tanita s. davis said...

Yay for the library, indeed! I can't wait to read your review of the second novel, and then read it for myself!