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Gilda Joyce: The Bones of the Holy

Gilda Joyce: The Bones of the Holy

4.4 69
by Jennifer Allison

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When Gilda Joyce's mother announces her engagement to a man from St. Augustine, Florida, Gilda is appalled. She hasn't even given him the "Joyce Family Application" yet! But as the wedding preparations get under way, Gilda realizes she has much bigger concerns. Why does her soon-to-be stepdad keep calling Mrs. Joyce by his ex-wife's name? And why is Mrs. Joyce acting


When Gilda Joyce's mother announces her engagement to a man from St. Augustine, Florida, Gilda is appalled. She hasn't even given him the "Joyce Family Application" yet! But as the wedding preparations get under way, Gilda realizes she has much bigger concerns. Why does her soon-to-be stepdad keep calling Mrs. Joyce by his ex-wife's name? And why is Mrs. Joyce acting like she's possessed?

With only a few short days before her mother says "I do," Gilda knows this much for sure: it's going to take every ounce of her sleuthing skill and psychic savvy to solve this one!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Uber-cool teen sleuth Gilda Joyce has to step in when her mother's new life threatens danger. Pragmatic mom has suddenly gone ga-ga over a plump antiques dealer named Eugene Pook and plans to marry and live with him in St. Augustine, Florida. Gilda does not despair. Armed with her deceased dad's typewriter, her notebooks and her disguises, including a plumed hat, Gilda decides to penetrate the heart of a decades-old mystery involving a ghost in a white gown who looks just like her mother. Local author Jennifer Allison blends the chilling with the comedic in stylish writing that skillfully shifts point of view to offer a nuanced, deeply felt novel with an intricate plot. This fifth book in the unique Gilda Joyce series will leave readers hungry for the sixth. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Kirkus Reviews

In this fifth Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator installment, amateur sleuth Gilda travels to historic St. Augustine to encounter a ghostly woman in white and ends up literally buried in another baffling mystery.

Horrified when her mother returns from a getaway weekend in St. Augustine engaged to an antiques dealer named Eugene Pook, whom she met on the Internet and plans to marry immediately, Gilda experiences her "psychic signal," a tickling in her left ear, warning something unusual or dangerous is about to occur. Arriving in St. Augustine for the wedding, Gilda finds Eugene to be "older, plump, walruslike" and definitely weird. She loves the ghost tour of St. Augustine, "one of the most haunted cities in the entire United States," but is surprised when Eugene's 12-year-old neighbor confesses she's seen a spectral woman in white in his house. Gilda discovers Eugene had been jilted years before by his fiancée, Charlotte, who looked just like Gilda's mother and mysteriously vanished. Now Eugene seems to be re-creating his aborted wedding. Could the woman in white be Charlotte's ghost? Local ghost tales, Gilda's spy records, letters and travelogue flesh out the account of how this sassy wannabe investigator tries to save her mother from Charlotte's fate.

Gilda fans will rally to her latest caper, while newcomers should revel in her ghostly escapades in old St. Augustine. (Mystery. 10-14)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Gilda Joyce Series
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

I grew up in a small town in Michigan where there wasn’t much for kids to do for fun except ride a bike down a dirt road to the local Dairy Queen, or better yet, to the public library. My two younger brothers and I didn’t have easy access to a swimming pool, movie theater or cable television, but we did have open fields, woods, marshland, old barns, and half-built houses to explore – places that really sparked our imaginations. One of my best friends lived on a sheep farm, and we used to conduct séances in the spooky atmosphere of the barn hayloft near her house (the memory of some of those activities may have influenced Gilda’s fascination with parapsychology and the occult in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator). I spent long, humid summers reading every book our wonderful local librarian recommended: she had a talent for handing any young person a perfectly selected story.

Throughout junior high and high school, I spent a great deal of time playing the piano (I was one of those odd kids who actually liked piano lessons), and after competing in numerous music competitions, I attended the University of Michigan on a music scholarship. Literature won out over music, however, and I switched my major to English after my freshman year.

After completing a B.A. in English, I edited reference books for an educational publishing company in Detroit for several years, after which I returned to school to complete an M.F.A. in creative writing at American University (Washington, D.C.). After graduate school, I moved to England to work as a healthcare news journalist; I lived in Oxford for about two years, then moved to London to write for an online educational publication. The opportunity to travel and live in a variety of settings certainly furthered my development as a writer. I’ve also held numerous “odd jobs” -- piano player in a shopping mall, assembly line worker for General Motors, waitress, preschool teacher -- that have helped generate numerous ideas for characters and situations to explore in fiction.

The idea for the story of Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator first emerged while I was living in San Francisco and had recently been laid off from a “dot com” editorial position. With quite a bit of extra time on my hands, I found myself wandering into a store that sold antique typewriters, and walked out with the idea of an eccentric girl who’s fiercely attached to a “magic” typewriter (or a typewriter that she wishes were magic). I knew right away that this typewriter would represent the loss of someone very close – most likely a parent. As the story evolved and I got to know Gilda’s buoyant, life-affirming character, I realized that I wanted to write a story like the ones that had most moved me in my youth – a book that made me laugh while also addressing the reality of grief and loss as a part of life. I was also interested in a theory that people who lose a parent at a young age are sometimes more “driven” and willing to take risks than those who have the security of two parents (while others may respond in a nihilistic sense, by assuming that there’s no point in making a big effort in life since they, too, may die young). In a sense, Gilda and Juliet initially evolved as representations of these two very opposite responses to coping with death.

In the second book in the series, Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake, I drew upon my experience teaching English literature and creative writing at a Catholic girls’ school. In this novel, Gilda reluctantly agrees to attend an elite private school on scholarship. It isn’t long before she finds herself in the role of investigative reporter for the school newspaper, immersed in a mystery surrounding the drowning death of a student.

While there’s certainly much of myself in Gilda’s character, the Gilda Joyce novels are completely fictional stories. I often conduct research as part of my writing process—reading books about psychic techniques, interviewing people, visiting neighborhoods or buildings that serve as models for setting. Aspects of my own life inevitably find their way into the novels—childhood memories, places I’ve lived, knowledge from work experiences, character quirks loosely based on friends, relatives, and acquaintances.

In addition to developing my own craft, I enjoy visiting schools and conducting workshops designed to inspire reading and creative writing in young people. I live in Maryland, near Washington, DC with my husband Michael and three children—Max and the twins, Marcus and Genevieve.

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Gilda Joyce 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
RebelJim More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that there had better be more of these. If this is the last one I'll be very perturbed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can easily say that this is one of the best paranormal books I have read. Very well done! Love the whole series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lizbball27 More than 1 year ago
This series gets better and better with every mystery. The story behind the mystery for this book leaves you thinking and shivering....the wonders of this haunting ghost and who she is and why is she is makeing contact with Gilda, the results can be shocking! I a sure you this book will not leave you hanging but ready to join Gilda in another one of her great mysteries as a psychic investigator. ( Also it will leave you wanting to try a fried peanut butter sandwich :D )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not actually read this yet, but I love this series. I bought the sample and can't wait to start it. Last year a teacher reccomended these books to me. My friend and I became obsessed. These are great mysteries, and not scary ones. I would reccomend this to any girl, even if they don't like mysteries. I don't really like mysteries but I loved this series. Great books. A must read. Funny too. Gilda is a character you will fall in love with. READ THIS SERIES! DON'T OVERLOOK IT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Allison has done a great job in this book, with all of the mystery, excitement, and characters. Gilda Joyce is a fun, spunky character with a sixth sense of solving mysteries. This book is fun and spooky. It is definitly worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Historical Williamsburg, Virginia. I went there on vacation and we did this thing where we went to a tavern at night and the guide told ghost stories (not colonial ones from like a million years ago, they were about things that happened recently.) The most haunted place on the property would be the Peyton Randolph house. The guide once took a group to the place and a couple took pictures and the third one had snow in it. Another time a guard was doing his rounds in the house and he didn't check in so they sent another guard to go find him. The other guard found him in the basement with his flashlight trained on a blank wall, a petrified expression on his face, and- here's the big one- his gun drawn. They never take it out unless they feel their life is threatened. Another one takes place at the tavern where we were sitting; King's Arms Tavern. There was a manager named Erma and she was kinda bossy. Erma died and the employees always say good night or good morning to her even after she died. If you don't, you will mysteriously trip or feel a punch in your stomach. One time a guy and his friends thought it might be fun to do the "ghost tours" before they got shipped out. The tour guide told the group to say good night to Erma and one guy said he wasn't gonna do it. A few feet later he fell like he was punched in the stomach. He stuck his head up and exclaimed, "That was awesome!" What do you think of my real and recent ghost stories?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!
skstiles612 More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Allison has done a great job in this last book in the Gilda Joyce series.  First she set it in one of my favorite places in Florida, St. Augustine.  This was the perfect setting to put Gilda in.  Gilda’s mom is acting strange and Gilda knows it involves a man.  She is not impressed with anything except the fact that the man owns a shop with vintage clothing.  This is Gilda’s all time favorite thing.  Gilda and her mom fly to Florida for the upcoming wedding.  She is to be joined by her brother at a later date.  Once he arrives they learn that things are not what they seem.  They stumble into trouble that could cost them their lives.  Can they help solve a mystery from long ago.  You’ve got to read this to find out what Gilda comes up with and how she solves this mystery.  This book is full of the fun and mystery that is one hundred percent Gilda Joyce.  For me it was full of the history of St. Augustine.  Jennifer definitely did her research on this one.  If nothing else maybe this will entice the reader to come to St. Augustine to check out some of the wonderful history and maybe even check out a ghost or two.  Definitely one of my favorite of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope that there will be a sixth book :3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book sooooooooo much! I got it a my local library not knowing a singal thing about it. Now because I read it it is my 2nd favorite series!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Allison shoould defenetly keep writing these books i have read all of them and they are absolutleyy amazing !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It so good
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Gilda Joyce and have read all the books in her series. And yes sadly I do think this is the last one. You know once I emailed Jennifer Allison, the author, and she wrote back. You should email her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is this last book plz answer!
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