Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator

4.6 64
by Jennifer Allison
     
 

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Ever since her father died, quirky Gilda Joyce has been working hard to sharpen her psychic skills. She's determined to communicate with spirits from the Other Side and become a crack investigator of spooky, twisted mysteries. After wrangling an invitation to visit relatives in San Francisco, Gilda discovers that her dreary, tight-lipped uncle and his strange,… See more details below

Overview

Ever since her father died, quirky Gilda Joyce has been working hard to sharpen her psychic skills. She's determined to communicate with spirits from the Other Side and become a crack investigator of spooky, twisted mysteries. After wrangling an invitation to visit relatives in San Francisco, Gilda discovers that her dreary, tight-lipped uncle and his strange, delicate daughter need her help to uncover the terrible family secret that has a tortured ghost stalking their home. From poignant to hair-raising and hilarious, this is a behind-the-scenes, tell-all account of the very first case in the illustrious career of Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist
Gilda Joyce, 13, lives in Michigan with her widowed mother. With her best friend at camp, Gilda decides she wants an adventure, so she writes to a distant relative, Mr. Splinter, and asks to spend the summer in San Francisco. Unknown to Gilda, Mr. Splinter has a daughter, Juliet, about Gilda's age. After arriving in town, Gilda learns that Juliet had been seeing the ghost of her aunt, who committed suicide. Gilda finds this especially exciting as she considers herself a psychic investigator. Allison pulls off something special here. She not only offers a credible mystery (What really happened to Aunt Meredith?) but also, by allowing readers inside the heads of both girls, provides particularly strong characterizations-much more substantial than the ubiquitous first person narrative would have offered. Moreover, the recent death of Gilda's father and Juliet's psychological problems give the story heft that elevates it above the typical middle mystery or ghost story. Stylistically, the writing is occasionally over the top, but give this book high marks for substance.
starred review
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Fast-paced, funny and poignant combine in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator, a unique debut novel by local author Jennifer Alison. Teens are sure to connect with irrepressible Gilda, whose companion in many adventures is the Underwood typewriter given to her by her father upon his death two years ago. The 14 year old describes it as "old-fashioned and reliable" like her dad and uses it to type the letters, notes for a novel and psychic-case progress reports interspersed throughout the narrative. When she visits her mother's distant cousin and his daughter, Juliet, in their strange mansion for the summer, Gilda uses her psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of Juliet's aunt's tragic death. The compelling plot will keep pages turning and the well-drawn characters will have readers eagerly anticipating the soon-to-be-released sequel, Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake.
Children's Literature - Kathryn Erskine
Quirky Gilda Joyce is an engaging character. She calls herself a psychic investigator and boldly goes where no average teenager would. A dark, haunted tower? Her uncle's office, disguised as a rich woman in stiletto heels? In the process, Gilda manages to make friends with her withdrawn and somewhat sour cousin and enjoy the interesting personalities of her uncle's housekeeper and administrative assistant. This light reading is made even more enjoyable by much humor. The frivolity is balanced with Gilda's sadness over her father's death two years before. The blending of the comical with the very real may seem discordant but it is reflective of the ups and downs of real life, and particularly the lives of young readers. Although Gilda's antics are somewhat unbelievable, her joie de vivre is enough to keep readers entertained and enlivened, as evidenced by a second book in the series, Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Zany, likable Gilda Joyce deserves a place right next to her inspiration, Harriet the Spy. Ever since her father died two years ago, Gilda has been working on sharpening her psychic skills, both in an attempt to communicate with him and to solve spooky mysteries. The summer before ninth grade, she invites herself to San Francisco to visit relatives she's never met who live in a brooding Victorian mansion, complete with a ghost in the tower. Lester Splinter, her distant cousin, seems to be hiding something about his sister's suicide years ago, and Gilda is determined to find out what it is, with the help of his lonely, hostile daughter who is her age. Gilda's bravery, bluntness, and willingness to try anything help bring Juliet out of herself. Her asides to her father, written on his old typewriter, are not only humorous; they also show her grief, longing, and love for him. The wacky wigs and costumes she dons will make readers giggle out loud, as will the inserted progress reports she writes of how well her investigations are going. Readers will feel the hair on the back of their necks rise over the predicaments she manages to get into and out of. Returning home at summer's end, Gilda is surprised that her mother has begun to date and her older brother, Stephen, is friendlier. They have all begun to heal from their loss. Let's hope Gilda also returns in another psychic mystery that needs her gutsy, brash attention.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ever since her father passed away, 13-year-old Gilda Joyce has been determined to contact spirits on the other side. She finagles an invitation to visit a distant relative in San Francisco for the summer, who just happens to be in need of her services as a psychic investigator. Equipped with her father's typewriter, an odd collection of disguises, a psychic manual and an inquisitive personality, Gilda begins looking into the mysterious death of her host's sister and the reasons for the bumps in the night. Her persistence pays off in many ways as she befriends her cousin, helps mend a broken family and solves the mystery of the spooky tower. Whether dressed in a formal gown for a seance or attempting to channel her father's spirit through the keys of his typewriter, Gilda's earnest and wacky personality accompanied by her dry wit make this an amusing as well as suspenseful mystery. Surprisingly spooky. (Fiction. 10-14)
From the Publisher
"Zany, likable Gilda Joyce deserves a place right next to her inspiration, Harriet the Spy."School Library Journal, starred review

"Gilda's earnest and wacky personality accompanied by her dry wit make this an amusing as well as suspenseful mystery." Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101562840
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/23/2006
Series:
Gilda Joyce
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
526,764
Lexile:
1000L (what's this?)
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Zany, likable Gilda Joyce deserves a place right next to her inspiration, Harriet the Spy."-School Library Journal, starred review

"Gilda's earnest and wacky personality accompanied by her dry wit make this an amusing as well as suspenseful mystery." -Kirkus Reviews

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