Book Nostalgia: The Dollhouse Murders
By Lia on August 21st, 2012
Devout OOM-readers know that our Book Nostalgia posts go up on Thursdays, but this week we’re mixing it up a little. Today in the archives: The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright. Let’s just say it made me want to re-read all my favorite childhood mysteries…
Just to recap: Frustrated with her younger sister Louann, 12-year old Amy Treloar begs her parents to let her spend the summer at her Aunt Clare’s. When Amy discovers a beautiful, unused dollhouse in the attic — a replica of the very house she’s staying in — she has no idea it’s haunted, or that the dolls themselves might help solve the grisly murder of her great-grandparents.
What I remember: I was beyond excited to find The Dollhouse Murders on a giveaway cart here at Scholastic. As soon as I saw the cover, I was flooded with memories of checking it out from the school library (I can still remember exactly where to find it in the stacks) and refusing to put it down. In fact, it was The Dollhouse Murders that prompted my dad’s “no reading at the dinner table” rule. But other than knowing it was a story about a girl spending the summer at her aunt’s and that it had to do with the mystery of her great-grandparents’ death and dolls re-enacting a murder, I didn’t remember much else.
After revisiting: The Dollhouse Murders was just as suspenseful as I’d remembered. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. (Good to know some things don’t change!) I’d forgotten how the story ends, and found myself rooting for Amy as she slowly pieced together the mystery. I’d also forgotten about Amy’s rocky relationship with her younger sister, who has a disability, and it was touching to see their bond evolve. I have to say that what surprised me the most was how much junk food the characters ate. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but there was so much mention of cookies and fudge and caramel corn and pizza and hot cocoa and potato chips– it definitely seems like ideas about nutrition have changed since this book came out in 1983!
Anyone else love The Dollhouse Murders? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Next up for me? Christina’s Ghost, also by Betty Ren Wright.
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