A goth teen meets ghosts, uncovers a murder and even gets a little (very little) work done on her horror novel in this mannered but entertaining prose debut.
October considers the cemetery next to her new house a nice touch, as her single father is clinically depressed and she’s been dubbed a “Zombie Tramp” by mean girl Ashlie Salmons just moments after entering the “teenaged Thunderdome” of her new Ontario high school. At least she can work on her magnum opus, Two Knives, One Thousand Demons, among the tombstones—except that just reading a spell from the book calls up the friendly but rambunctious ghosts of five local teens killed over the past two centuries. Then her favorite teacher is crushed beneath a car. The police call it an accident, but October’s not so sure…and with help from her motley crew of ectoplasmic allies sets out to discover the truth. Switching frequently for no evident reason between first and third person and occasionally interjecting authorial comments, Munday interweaves a brisk tale of high-school hatreds with an investigation that ultimately leads back to terrorist acts committed 40 years before and culminates in a wild Halloween climax. Munday, a cartoonist, tucks in black-and-white spot portraits and closes with notes on characters and cultural references.
Authorial tics aside, an engaging tale with a resilient heroine, a dead but lively supporting cast and enough wit to grease the wheels. (Detective fantasy. 12-15)