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The Dark Secret of Weatherend: An Anthony Monday Mystery
John Bellairs
Puffin Books, 182 pages

The Dark Secret of Weatherend

John Bellairs

The Compleat Bellairs
The Puffin House

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Margo MacDonald

I had a good feeling about this book as soon as I saw that the cover and frontispiece were drawn by Edward Gorey (one of my all time favourite twisted people), and I was not disappointed.

A friend of mine told me that he loves to read young adult books because they are all about story. I think I agree with that and this book is no exception. The story moves along flawlessly, with just enough surprises to keep it interesting as the heroes discover -- and then try to stop -- the villian's ghastly plan to destroy the world through his ability to control weather. The atmosphere Bellairs creates is creepy and a little chilling -- even to my jaded sensitivities. The author effortlessly creates strong visual impressions and I am surprised at how often these images have returned to me since finishing this book.

There is also something nice about the oddity of the main characters, a 14 year-old boy and his best friend -- a 68 year-old lady. Their relationship adds a level of maturity to the book that is not always present when the main characters are all young adults. Bellairs definitely does not talk down to his intended audience, thereby making the book just as readable for adults. So, wait for a dark and stormy night, grab a blanket and a flashlight and enjoy this eerie mystery.

Copyright © 1997 by Margo MacDonald

Margo has always been drawn toward fantasy and, at the age of 5, decided to fill her life with it by pursuing a career as a professional actress. Aside from theatre (and her husband), Margo's passion has been for books. Her interests are diverse and eclectic, but the bulk fall within the realm of speculative fiction. She tells us that her backlog has reached 200 books and she's ready to win the lottery and retire.

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