A skeptic trapped in a family of believers comes face to face with nasty nautical ladies in the third book of a series.
Poppy’s parents may be hokey paranormal investigators, her older teen sister a twit and her little brother an incipient psychopath, but at least she can rely on her twin brother, Will, and their buddy Henry. Yet ever since her family borrowed a houseboat on a lake reputed to be an alien hotspot, she’s found the two boys prefer to do things without her. Alone and miffed, Poppy stumbles on the titular mischief of mermaids, and one of them takes her curiosity about the human world to the next level. Unfortunately this results in Poppy’s sister Franny’s mistakenly sprouting a tail of her own. Can she be turned back before she forgets who she was? Stock characters and sitcom-style dialogue do little to set this series apart from the pack. Still, the action comes steadily, and readers will not grow bored at any point. Oddly, interest in the supernatural seems split almost equally between the Malones’ misguided alien hunt and Poppy’s very real mermaids. And while the mermaid storyline comes to a satisfactory close, Poppy’s falling out with Will and Henry is forgotten entirely.
A serviceable fantasy best suited for those kids who have already enjoyed Poppy’s previous adventures. (Fantasy. 8-12)