Eleanor, Alice, & the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni (ARC Review)

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts


Goodreads: Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts
Series: None
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Published: September 1, 2020


There are three types of ghosts that can come back to haunt a house: Friendlies, Unawares, and Vengefuls. When a new ghost erupts in the home of Aunt Bye, the authorities designate it as Friendly. Cousins Alice and Eleanor Roosevelt, however, are not so sure. The ghost is acting strangely, manipulating the people in the household and growing ever more menacing. Can the cousins put aside their differences to uncover the history of the house and destroy the ghost for good?

Star Divider


Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni is a chilling supernatural adventure set in an alternate history where spirits routinely haunt houses and no one bats an eye. Cousins Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt are very different–Eleanor is bookish and retiring, while Alice has a reputation for running wild. But, when ghosts start attacking their family, the two must work together to uncover the secrets of their family past and defeat the ghosts for good. This ghostly thriller will appeal both to readers who enjoy a deliciously creepy mystery, and to those who revel in imagining a different type of past.

I always enjoy a good alternative history, and I was immediately drawn to Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts because it focuses on a part of the past not many historical novels cover. Like any great alternate history, the book is based on real historical facts, but it takes those facts and adds an entertaining twist. In this case, the twist is basically Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt: Ghost Hunters. Talk about a fun time! It is a concept perfectly suited to current interest in the occult and ghost hunting shows, but also one that will attract readers who loved books such as Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co. series. In short, it’s a concept that feels sure to succeed.

A book cannot succeed on premise alone, of course, but Salerni delivers a fast-paced and entertaining plotline along with compelling characters. Protagonists Eleanor and Alice are very different from each other. Eleanor is somewhat meek and unsure of herself, while Alice is outgoing but also looking for love and acceptance in her own way. Readers will likely relate to one or the other, but their real strength lies in the way they learn to appreciate each other’s qualities and work as a team. This is a duo I would love to see return in a sequel.

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts is one of those rare middle grade books that feels almost magical. The premise, the plot line, and the characters all combine to create an engrossing story that is hard to put down. If you love supernatural mysteries, alternate history, or just a good ghost story, you will love Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts.

4 stars

12 thoughts on “Eleanor, Alice, & the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni (ARC Review)

    • Krysta says:

      I actually don’t know much about the Roosevelts! I wouldn’t say this book has many historically accurate details–haha!–but it was fun to see the relationship between the girls!

      Liked by 1 person

      • bargainsleuth says:

        They had a very interesting relationship in real life. There’s a book out called Hissing Cousins that goes into more details. Both women were forces to be reckoned with. The fact that they are making books like this about them years after they’ve passed is a testament to their character.


  1. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Lovely review. This setup reminds me of The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, where Mary and Ada are detectives. Also middle grade with a very similar book cover style. It seems there is a new trend of bringing historical figures into new settings in their youth. Was it educational at all about who Eleanor and Alice are?


    • Krysta says:

      Yes! The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency is a fun one, as well! I haven’t read the sequel, though.

      I wouldn’t say the book is very educational. You get some family background and the general idea that Alice is a “wild child.” Teddy’s exploits are vaguely mentioned and Franklin has an appearance as a love interest. However, I can definitely not tell you anything specific about Eleanor or Alice’s lives. Except that they hunted ghosts. I think that’s 100% historically accurate?

      Liked by 1 person

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