In this sequel to Twelve Minutes to Midnight (2014), young author/publisher Penelope Tredwell becomes ensnared in a devious scheme to turn one of her thrillers into a motion picture.
Orphan heiress of the Penny Dreadful, 13-year-old Penelope has successfully transformed the magazine into a “bestselling sensation” with her serialized “tales of terror.” When sleazy moviemaker Edward Gold approaches her hoping to make a film of her The Daughter of Darkness, Penelope’s wary until she falls under the spell of Gold’s Véritéscope, a new sort of movie camera that can both record and project sound as well as images. En route to filming at remote Eversholt Manor, Penelope discovers Gold’s really using her story to expose the true story of dastardly Lord Eversholt, who caused the death of his daughter, Amelia, years ago. When Penelope begins seeing Amelia’s ghost, she realizes the Véritéscope can capture the ethereal forms of the deceased and restore them to life. With her own life fading and Amelia’s returning, Penelope must stop Gold. Once again, Edge’s deft use of Gothic elements ensures maximum chills and suspense as Penelope and pals race to outwit Gold and his contraption in a dramatic conclusion.
The spunky heroine is a captivating one, as is her deliciously sensational adventure. (Historical mystery. 8-12)