Monthly Archives: January 2012

A House with a Clock in its Walls: Reviewed by J.B.

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“Lewis threw the clock down. There was a springing of uncoiled springs and a clatter of clogs and a sprinkling of glass.” The House with a Clock in its Walls is a great novel if you crave suspense.  It contains cliffhangers; it’s suspenseful.  It also lets you be a detective in the book. First of all, it has a great amount of cliffhangers.  Cliffhangers are a great thing to have in a suspense book because they make you want to read on to the next chapter. Also, the cliffhanger is usually at the end of a chapter. For example, one of the characters says, “Let’s go find that clock!” at the end of one chapter. This quote was a cliffhanger because you or the reader wants to read on to the next chapter to see if they find the clock.  Another great quality of a suspense book is that it obviously needs to be suspenseful!  This quality makes you want to read all night if the author uses this quality correctly.  In this novel, there is a lot of suspense towards the middle and the end of the book.  For example, around the middle of the book, Lewis and his uncle, along with their neighbor, are being chased by a mysterious black car, but they manage to escape.  This example created suspense because you might found out what would happen to Lewis and his companions.  For our third and final quality, The House with a Clock in its Walls lets you be a good detective. It lets you make predictions about characters to see if they are good or bad.  John Bellairs lets you predict how the story could end.  For example, on page 123, when “Hammerhandle” grabs Lewis by the collar, you can probably tell that he isn’t a good guy.  To sum up my review, The House with a Clock in its Walls is a great book. If you want a great mystery, pick up this book at your local bookstore.

And Then There Were None: Reviewed by A.B.

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“Ladies and Gentlemen! Silence, please!” I am here to tell you of the wonderful mystery and suspense novel, And Then There Were None.  This book was written by Agatha Christie, who certainly knows her mysteries.  First, she has put forth an action-packed story in which each chapter is opened by an eye-grabbing opening. Also, it has chapter endings that have you hanging on a cliff. Not to mention crime, which is one of the main components you do not want to miss.

As each chapter opens, so does your reading because all you want to do is read on.  For example, Chapter Ten opens with, “’Do you believe it?’ Vera asked.” This instantly grabs your attention because you are wondering, who is she talking to? Is she talking about (blank)? Also, this engages you to read on because you are on the edge of your seat in excitement.  Which, as proven, is a great mystery component.

Quality two: suspenseful cliff hangers.  Christie ends each chapter with a unique cliffhanger to keep you reading. For example, Chapter Ten ends in a great cliff hanger, that you really want to jump off of. It is, “No more Indian tricks tonight. I’ve seen to that…” This is a cliff hanger because you are asking yourself, who is going to take a figurine? Is a figurine going to be taken? Or is another trick going to be played? Now I hope I have you on my own cliff hanger.

“Nevertheless, on evidence, he was certainly guilty.” Of having too much crime! Christie has packed each chapter with more crimes than you thought possible. For instance, on page 125 Mr. Rogers was given a deep wound (with an ax) on the back of his head.  Clearly this is a crime because he could have not chopped himself, on his own head.  As a result, this is a crime, making And Then There Were None a suspenseful mystery.

Overall, And Then There Were None  is a fabulous mystery / suspense book. Indeed it is because it has the great mystery components: openers, cliff hangers, and (maybe ten times too much) crime. For now, And Then There Were None is still here.

The Westing Game: Reviewed by J.D.

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Wow! The Westing Game was a great mystery book. Three things that really stood out to me were the great clues, cliff hangers, and the colorful, different personalities. One clue I noticed was that they made the end of the story so unpredictable by a great clue which was Sam Westing’s words, “One of you took my life away,” which makes you think he was murdered. But was he? Another good clue was that the will read, “I died from natural causes.” So that means that he couldn’t have been murdered. An outstanding cliff hanger was at the end of Chapter 1, page 6. It says, “And oh, yes, one was a bookie, one was a burglar, one was a bomber, and one was a mistake. Barney had rented one of the apartments to the wrong person.” That made me want to keep reading because I wanted to figure out who was what. The last thing was their personalities. They were extremely different. For example, one pair was a wedding dressmaker and her partner was a shin-kicking, vicious, 13-year-old girl. Another example is one pair is a bird-watching crippled boy paired with a plastic surgery intern. Overall, I think you should read this spectacular book