The Uninvited (1942) by Dorothy Macardle

Book Cover of The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle (1942)

8 Stars (8/10)

I am sure that if spirits walk, it is in places that they have loved. That is why it seems foolish to be afraid of them […] Why should anyone be afraid of a happy ghost?”

Roderick and Pamela Fitzgerald have finally found the perfect house in the Devonshire countryside. Cliff End even comes complete with its very own ghost, the tragic Mary Meredith, who met a mysterious death there fifteen years earlier. It makes a picturesque story, but rumors of ghosts are surely exaggerated.

The brother and sister soon find that living in a haunted house isn’t as jolly as they imagined. They are kept awake by moans in the night, strange white mists, chills that seem to pass right through them. Even worse, some unseen force seems to zero in on their deepest insecurities, driving them to despair.

The only one who’s not afraid of Cliff End is Stella Meredith, Mary’s daughter. She’s convinced the spirit of her mother would never hurt her. But nothing in this house is as it seems, and there may be room for one more ghost at Cliff End.

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The Bad Seed (1954) by William March

Book cover of The Bad Seed by William March (1954)

7 Stars (7/10 stars)

“Some murderers, particularly the distinguished ones who were going to make great names for themselves, usually started in childhood; they showed their genius early, just as outstanding poets, mathematicians, and musicians did.”

Little Rhoda Penmark isn’t like other children. Unfailingly polite and diligent, the  “old-fashioned” young girl is doted on by adults. She doesn’t get along with children her own age, however, especially classmate Claude Daigle, who wins a prize Rhoda had her heart set on.

When Claude drowns during a school picnic, Rhoda takes her first experience of death a little too calmly. Christine Penmark starts to wonder whether her little girl is quite as innocent as she looks…

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