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Wright's taut, suspenseful novel proves a solid choice to kick off the Live Oak Mysteries audio series. The attic is always a great place to look for nuggets of one's family history, but when 12-year-old Amy explores her great-grandparents' attic, she uncovers clues to a chilling family secret. As Amy and her Aunt Claire sift through clothes, trinkets and other memorabilia,

Amy comes across Aunt Claire's long-forgotten dollhouse, a finely crafted replica of the house they are in. Aunt Claire seems unusually distressed about the dollhouse and Amy is determined to find out why. The real fun begins when Amy learns that the dolls in the dollhouse move of their own willAand that they seem to be trying to tell her something.

After a little sleuthing at the local library, Amy learns that her great-grandparents were murdered years ago and that Aunt Claire's fianc? (who died in a car accident that same night) was the prime suspect in the unsolved case. Before long, Amy unravels the mystery, helping Aunt Claire to resolve her feelings about the past. A subplot about Amy's relationships with her parents, younger sister and best friend adds depth and warmth to this crisply paced tale.

Stewart handles the narration with aplomb, using her voice to give listeners a hint of each character's personality. Her portrayal of Aunt Claire, who delivers a few chillingly snappish retorts to Amy, is particularly strong. Ages 8-up. (Mar.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Details

ISBN-10:  0823421724 (pbk.)
ISBN-13:  9780823421725 (pbk.)
Publisher:  Holiday House
Date Published:  August 2008
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review by . April 19, 2009
Amy is tired of always having the 'burden' of taking care of her developmentally disabled sister. Fortunately for her, her Aunt Clare has recently moved back to town to pack up the house that belonged to Amy's great-grandparents. Amy takes refuge there and finds in the attic an amazing dollhouse that is the exact replica of the house that contains it. Then, the dolls start moving by themselves, re-creating the scene of the great-grandparents' murder. What is the dollhouse trying to tell them?   This …
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