Review: The Ghouls of Howlfair

Published by Walker Books
Published on 3rd October
Cover Illustration by Kim Geyer

Open this book – if you dare – and be prepared for the most PERFECT ghoulish tale!  It had me completely engrossed from the opening:  overflowing with eerie happenings and brimming with laugh-out-loud moments and hilarious incidents! 

12-year-old Molly Thompson is Howlfair’s local intrepid historian; she has an insatiable curiosity about the town’s ghoulish past and is determined to investigate any unearthly occurrences.  And boy, are there sinister happenings galore in this wonderfully enjoyable spooktastic mystery.  But there are also moments of sheer comedic genius which are priceless!   These are a perfect foil to some of the more deliciously dark deeds which create just the right amount of edge-of-your-seat tension and scariness to make this perfect for younger readers.  

Unfortunately for Molly, the adults of Howlsfair are not impressed with her sleuthing skills which have a tendency to unearth a few skeletons they’d rather keep firmly locked in the cupboard, so her mother bans her from making any further investigations.  End of story!  Of course not:  Molly doesn’t let a little problem like town petitions and parental annoyance stop her from her mission to protect the citizens of Howlfair …

And that’s exactly what she needs to do when some rather gruesome discoveries are made, when some ghoulish visitors appear and when a mayoral election may not be all it seems. 

Remember, secrets like to hide underneath fears.

Molly, along with help from her friends, is determined to find out more about Howlfair’s ghoulish past in order to solve the mystery of its present. Will she be able to save Howlfair from a spectral disaster?  The plot is awesomely action-packed, incredibly inventive and spookily spectacular.  I loved that the story is set during the summer holidays, when perhaps we might not expect dangers to be lurking … this makes it even creepier. 

I adored Molly who is all sorts of brilliance!  She is endearingly clumsy, quirky, determined and a bookworm whose favourite place is the library.  Yes!  She has two best friends, Lowry and Gabriel:  one who thinks she might be a werewolf and one who is definitely a cat! Together, they make a great team who are supportive and protective of each other.

I loved the ode to libraries:

But it could transport you to anywhere you wanted to go if you stepped inside.

If you step inside this story – and you definitely should – you will be transported into the most fantastically inventive, fun-filled, spooky mystery that will fill you with all the delights that makes reading books such a joy! 

Thank you to Toppsta and Walker Books for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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