Goodreads: Nooks & Crannies
Published: June 2, 2015
Tabitha Crum can think of worse than having parents who hate her and only a pet mouse for a friend. But, still, when a mysterious envelope arrives inviting her along with five other children to the manor a mysterious countess, she cannot help but be excited. Could it be that her life is about to become just a little less miserable?
But something at the manor is not quite right. The countess seems erratic. The servants are frightened. And the other children are talking about ghosts. Can Tabitha solve the mystery before it’s too late?
Nooks and Crannies is an absolutely delightful middle-grade mystery–the kind that makes you want to curl up under the covers with your book and a cup of hot cocoa. The characters are quirky, the mystery compelling, and the prose…well, the prose is a treat. It possesses a certain dry humor that immediately feels somehow very historical and very British, as if we are indeed in one of the protagonist Tabitha’s favorite mystery novels.
Spooky houses and the reclusive individuals who inhabit them are staples of middle-grade fiction, but Jessica Lawson makes it all feel very new. From the opening pages when Tabitha speaks to her only friend, her pet rat Pemberley, about her hopes for a better life, the story gains a warmth that sets it apart. The book will not only be about the need to escape very real danger in an isolated house. It will be about family, friends, and the ties that bind us all together.
This warmth, as well as Tabitha’s lively intellect and endearing personality, make it easy to want to keep reading, even if experienced readers will anticipate the plot twists. The story does not rely on surprise to keep things interesting; the characters themselves are so engaging that readers will want to keep them company, regardless of the predictability of events. A solid offering from Jessica Lawson.