Goodreads: Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
Series: Goth Girl #1
Ada Goth lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall, an estate so large she still has not explored all of it. While her father occupies himself with his poetry, Ada spends most of her days alone. Then one night the ghost of a mouse appears, leading Ada to a mystery. Why is the indoor groundskeeper sneaking around? And what secrets are hidden in the broken wing of the hall?
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse plays with Gothic literary tropes, as well as with a variety of other classic literature. From references to Moby-Dick to Gulliver’s Travels to Frankenstein, the story is a treasure trove of allusions–perhaps best suiting it for older audiences, even if some worry that pictures mean the book is for smaller children. However, ultimately it is the illustrations that make the story truly memorable.
The story begins with a ghostly mouse appearing in Ada Goth’s bedroom. It asks her to investigate and remove the source of its untimely demise, leading her straight into a mystery. The indoor groundskeeper is preparing for the annual indoor hunt–a gathering where guests romp through the halls of the estate, capturing prey in nets and then releasing them. But something seems wrong.
Readers will no doubt guess the source and the outcome of the mystery with little trouble. Fortunately, the illustrations make the story far more interesting. They are often detailed and have a quirky kind of comedy to them. For instance, a running joke is Ada’s daily outfit, delivered to her by a maid who refuses to leave her closet. Each day’s outfit is, for no discernible reason, themed. But Ada wears it all with grace and readers are left wondering what she will have to wear next! This light-hearted humor, evident throughout, carries the story, removing the darkness from a book that features vampires, ghosts, and monsters.
Readers who are fans of Chris Riddell’s artwork will, of course, appreciate his quirky comedy in this Ada Lovelace and the Ghost of a Mouse. It will also appeal, however, to readers who enjoy quirky middle-grade mysteries and readers who do not take their Gothic literature too seriously.