Monday 22 April 2024

Blog tour: The Tower Ghost by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird and Lauren O'Neill (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)


 April 2024, The O'Brien Press, 304 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Book summary from The O'Brien Press

 A ghost lurks in the tower above the first year dormitory at Sycamore Hill. Can Clare, Rose and Molly solve the mystery – before a killer strikes again?

Nayu's thoughts

I adore boarding school stories, and I'm patiently waiting for Natasha to hurry up and write book 2! All the classic elements of boarding school tales are present in young Clare's life: there is much detail about all the meals and snack boxes, there is plenty of friendship but it is not all smooth sailing which makes it all the more interesting. I liked that it is a school run by nuns, some slightly odd ones, others are really strict. I like it's set in the past where there are no mobile phones yet it never feels dated as the issues are as relevant back then as they are now.

What makes The Tower Ghost stand out from other boarding school stories are how it focuses on Clare not having it easy as she is a scholarship girl, something she tries her best to hide as she feels she will be viewed differently. She constantly feels she has to work hard, but thankfully by the end she lets herself have fun and doesn't only study all the time. Clare easily makes friends with Rose, it takes longer for them to become a trio with Molly for reasons that were interesting to unravel. 

The second major difference is the spooky element. It was creepy enough that I only read it in daylight hours, I'd have had kittens if I'd read this at night and had an unexpected noise as one my guinea pigs decided to eat some of their hay covered boxes! I liked that the supernatural element was woven in sensitively; by that I mean as someone who is religious I wasn't offended by how the ghostly goings on were portrayed. They got quite intense but thankfully there is humour throughout the tale which helps balance it out. I was positively delighted by the major twist at the end which I hadn't seen coming making the true culprit a wonderful surprise. I already want to re-read it to see if I can spot any clues of who it is 

Find out more on Natasha's website.

Suggested read

If you enjoy boarding school tales check out this ballet school mystery 

Peril En Pointe: Swan House Mystery #1 by Helen Lipscombe (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)


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