Review Blog

Feb 28 2018

Goodly and Grave in a deadly case of murder by Justine Windsor

cover image

Goodly and Grave series. HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008183561
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Themes: Humour, Magic, Murder, Grave robbers. The second in this series of adventure books, Goodly and Grave, is about Lucy's attempts to prove herself. She and Lord Grave, initially investigate a series of thefts of bodies from the local cemetery, but it turns out that the thief is stealing soil, and they hang out one night at the cemetery ready to catch the thief. But things do not turn out well, and that night the household is woken by a loud crash and screams. On investigation it appears someone has tried to steal the strange book they found at the cemetery and has hit Lord Grave over the head.
Part of an organisation called Magicians Against the Abuse of Magic (MAAM) it falls upon our duo, Goodly and Grave to capture the thief, but when it turns into a murder, their skills are put on high alert. Goodly works in Lord Grave's employment as a boot boy, but is secretly being trained by him to better use her incredible magical powers.
The first in the series: Goodly and Grave, in a bad case of kidnap, had Lucy using her card skills to advantage, while the second sees her cement her place in Grave Hall as Lord Grave refines her considerable skills.
At once funny and delightfully scary, packed with greatly detailed illustrations by Becka Moor, this second in the series of books is a wonder to read, with lots of odd characters: Bathsheba, Lord Grave's companion is a jaguar from his extensive wild life park, the housekeeper, Mrs Carthew is a man with a huge beard which he plaits at night, Smell, the cat is able to sniff out potents easily, and so on. All fascinating, intriguing and inviting.
I found this book delicious, filled with humour and nods to a range of scary stories including grave robbing, vampires, Dracula, image changes, time travel, and a golem.
Fran Knight

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