When their parents decide to move to Forgotten Bay to take over a dilapidated seaside hotel where even radios don't work, Amelia and James are horrified.
Amelia, who misses gymnastics and her old friends, can't bear it. The hotel is freaky, their friends are far away, and the caretaker is a sinister old man with an eye patch and "something wrong" with his fingers: "He's missing a finger—creepy." It would be completely unbearable if it weren't for Charlie, the dorky local boy who's befriended Amelia and agrees that Tom's missing finger is "so creepy." There are plenty of mysteries to investigate in this shabby resort. There's the gadget that Charlie and Amelia find that “looks like lipstick for a robot” and seems to work like a camera. There's a giant tank of centipedes and a suitcase full of enticing, mesmerizing jewels. Even after they solve this set of mysteries, plenty of secrets are left for future series entries: who is Lady Naomi? What was the Whatever It Was that happened at James' old school? Is there something special behind the secret door hidden behind the painting of Matilda Swervingthorpe in Amelia's bedroom? What about the Krskn? Amelia, James, Charlie, and the lot all appear to be white in the uncredited illustrations. “Jones” is a pseudonym for Chris Morphew, Rowan McAuley, and David Harding.
This goofy paranormal is packed with plenty of joyful silliness, from iridescent aliens to disgusting breakfast, despite distracting, stale overuse of disability-as-horror tropes. (Science fiction. 8-11)