Friday, October 20, 2017

MG Paranormal/Ghost Story Review: The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

27395333The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street
Author:  Lindsay Currie
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Aladdin
Number of Pages: 304
Published:  October 10th, 2017

Source:  Purchased

Tessa's dad just got a new job in Chicago with the symphony, so their family packs up and leaves sunny Florida.  For Tessa, this also means leaving her best friend Rachel behind and moving into a creepy house built in the late 1800's.   A house that as soon as she steps into sets her skin crawling.  Shortly after moving in Tessa's younger brother Jonah begins to have nightmares, and strange occurrences start to happen like lights flickering on and off, rooms getting icy cold and a drawing pad that was inside a dresser is suddenly sitting on her bed with a drawing on it that Tessa knows she didn't make.  To distract Tessa from the situation her dad sends her out to explore the area which is where she meets Andrew, a boy her age.  Andrew meets up with Tessa the next day and offers to show her around school, and despite a flop during her introduction to the class where she tells everyone she thinks her house is haunted, the two seem to hit it off.  Tessa starts to disclose the strange things that have been happening to her at home and Andrew enlists the help of Nina, a girl who is knowledgeable about paranormal investigations and the history of their neighboorhood, specifically that it was once a burial site.  After Tessa hears an ominous voice in the dark saying "Graceland", the trio plan a trip to the Graceland Cemetery and find the gravesite of a little girl named Inez.  It seems Inez has led them here to uncover the story of how she died and to free her spirit.     

 This was the Halloween story that I was looking for.  Currie developed a wonderfully creepy atmosphere not only with the house and forces inside but the surrounding area of Chicago.   It tugged at all the right elements about Halloween that I love, an old house, a legend,  seemingly malevolent forces, even a trip to a cemetery.  There are lightning storms followed by one of the kids going missing and there's even a really disturbing ventriloquist doll that starts to shed tears.  The pacing of this was wonderful and it's the perfect story to make you want to leave the lights on.  Just loved it.  I really identified with Tessa's sadness over having to move away from her best friend Rachel, it's never an easy situation but it did take me back to my own times of moving around with my family when my dad was in the Army.  You never really get over that feeling and unlike Tessa, I didn't make friends as easily, but the whole situation felt true to the emotions.  Even her reasoning that it wasn't her dad's fault, just that the circumstance stunk.  Another aspect that I really liked was Tessa's "tug-of-war between her imagination and common sense."  How some things may have a logical/scientific explanation, but there were still things that couldn't be explained.  Overall a fantastic creepy ghost story with just the right amount of mystery that I enjoyed very much, and like so many others I'm hoping there will be more stories with these lovely characters.   

*The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street  has been nominated for the Cybils award and my review reflects my personal opinion, not the opinion of the Cybils committee.*


  1. Sounds like a book I would really get into. I love books like this- especially near Halloween. Thanks for sharing. Adding it to my list. :)

  2. This does sound creepy - and I'm a chicken! I guess I'll just enjoy it second hand through your review.