The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes, Illustrated by Keith Robinson

Holy spooky town. The layering of local folk lore and modern frights was the picture mixture for my Frighteningly Good Reads this weekend.


Aveline Jones loves reading ghost stories, so a dreary half-term becomes much more exciting when she discovers a spooky old book. Not only are the stories spine-tingling, but it once belonged to Primrose Penberthy, who vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again. Intrigued, Aveline decides to investigate Primrose’s disappearance.

Now someone… or something, is stirring. And it is looking for Aveline.

Turn on your torches, and join Aveline Jones in her first charmingly spooky mystery, from debut author Phil Hickes. From Goodreads.


I am not big on travel but if I have to get in a plane anytime soon I really hope it is taking me to somewhere slightly colder. It is still so humid here that, at 63 degrees, I am still wearing summer clothes that no self respecting scare crow would don. Reading this book and hearing about the bitterly cold sea wind made me so jealous.

Aveline’s Mum needs to head elsewhere to check on Aveline’s Granny and, while she is gone, Avenline is staying at her Aunt’s home in Malmouth right on the Cornish coast. I hope I’ve gotten all of that right. This book’s setting was as big a character as anything and I had to figure out where Aveline was from and where she was staying to get the full picture of her experience. Being from the middle of America, it is a long way to the sea so I am always astounded when characters can manage it in a few hours.

I really enjoyed that, like in The Highland Falcon, Aveline is unsupervised but not wholly unsupported by an adult. Her Aunt is busy but not neglectful. That little bit of freedom puts Aveline in the path of Mr. Lieberman’s bookstore and his nephew Harold. Aveline may have found a diary in the bookstore, but she also found her people there – book loving friends are the best. Mr. Lieberman and his tendency to talk too much was the most endearing character!

The book that Aveline chooses has a story scratched out. Which is, understandably, frustrating. In an attempt to find the missing story, Aveline stumbles across the diary of a long-lost girl. The reading of the diary is so spooky as we watch Primrose unravel. At the same time, Aveline is seeing things. Strange things that feel real but no one else can see or experience. This book’s scary tactic was like listening to an orchestra with each element joining one by one in to build to a terrifying crescendo. By the end, I was tipped forward in my chair mumbling to myself!

The characters in this book are wonderful and develop throughout the story. I was so pleased to see that there is a sequel and I hope that I can journey back to Monmouth soon.

Tell me, please! What is your favorite kind of scary?


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