Sunday, October 11, 2015

Book Review: The Mystery of the Whispering Witch by Kathryn Kenny (Trixie Belden #32)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Decent mystery and characters
Cons: Overall too dark to be enjoyable
The Bottom Line:
Trixie goes too dark
In least favorite for me
Only for her fans

Spooky Book That Still Doesn’t Feel Like Trixie

Just in case you haven’t noticed, I love the Trixie Belden series.  Even the books I’m not as big a fan of, I’ve reread countless times.  The exception to that is The Mystery of the Whispering Witch.  I believe my count on this book is now only three times reading it, and I’m still not a big fan of it.

A quiet Friday night before Thanksgiving at the Belden household is interrupted when Trixie’s new classmate Fay Franklin knocks on the door.  Her mother is the manager of Lisgard House, and Mrs. Franklin has just had an accident.  With the phone lines down, Fay has come looking for help.

After calling the doctor, Trixie and her best friend Honey accompanies Fay and Trixie’s older brother Brian back to the house.  Trixie is curious to see the house since it is supposed to be haunted.  After agreeing to spend the night there to keep Fay company, Trixie starts hearing warnings.  But that’s nothing compared to what the girls experience in the middle of the night or Fay’s confession the next day.  What is going on?

Now before we get further into this review, let me be perfectly clear.  My issue with this book isn’t that it involves a haunted house.  I have read many haunted house mysteries and enjoyed them over the years.  I expect the haunting to be fake, but scenes that involve these things that are well done are very fun to read.  I can think of several books I completely enjoyed that meet my criteria.

This is not one of them, however, because the plot gets too dark.  We are dealing with a witch, an angry mob, and possible possession.  It never reaches that level of spooky fun but feels dark and oppressive.  Even knowing how things end, I can’t shake that feeling while reading it.  It doesn’t help that a couple of small things are left open at the end.

Fortunately, the characters are good.  There is a large cast of main characters, and all of them are present here, although Dan doesn’t really do much in this book.  Trixie’s friend Diana, however, actually provides a critical piece of information, which is nice to see.

I specifically chose to reread this book this month because I was thinking a spooky book during Halloween would be perfect.  Yet it turns out the book is set at Thanksgiving.  That completely surprises me since Halloween seems like such a great time for this dark, spooky tale.  No idea why the author set it a month later; just something I found interesting.

Many fans of the series are not fans of this book, but some series fans list this as one of their favorites.  It’s all perspective (as I will demonstrated as I finish out my reviews of the series).

The dark tone of this book keeps me from recommending this book to all but those who already love Trixie.  If that’s you, considering reading The Mystery of the Whispering Witch.  If you have yet to meet her, back up and start with one of the other books in the Trixie Belden series and work your way up to this one.

Obviously, I do recommend reading other books in the Trixie Belden Mystery Series.

1 comment:

  1. I knew the "haunting" was a ruse by crooks going in, so I read the book. (I don't read books dealing with the occult and mysticism. I know you haven't read the series, but it reminded me of the Three Investigators in that aspect. But I agree with you that it was darker than most with a girl being run out of her mind. I also did not like how some things were left open at the end too