Following The Girl with the Glass Bird (2015), orphan Edie solves another mystery at her English boarding school.
There’s a new girl at school, Janet, who has a wealthy, distant mother and a useless father. She displaces Edie’s best friend, Anastasia, as roommate, with a clear message from the headmistress that Janet will need help transitioning. Unfortunately, Janet is not interested in adjusting—or even in staying at the school—and willfully flouts the rules, getting Edie into trouble. After some ferrets Anastasia’s been given mysteriously disappear one night, some evidence points to Edie as the culprit, and she’s ostracized by the others in her year, especially Anastasia. A few red herrings and Janet’s odd comings and goings become secondary in the plot to Edie’s growing sense of isolation from classmates, teachers, and relatives, a feeling she embraces a bit too readily. A strong British flavor pervades the tale, but most American readers will be familiar with the language and ideas from other imports. Nearly the entire story is from Edie’s third-person point of view, but in one chapter the point of view switches to her uncle’s. Although the setting is the same, and many of the presumably white, female characters are unchanged, the sense of claustrophobic intrigue is less effectively conveyed than in the first outing.
Mildly mysterious but not quite suspenseful. (Mystery. 11-14)