Poisoned House by Michael Thomas Ford

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN: 978-14088044506.
(Ages: 10 +) Set in 19th Century England, Poisoned House follows a young servant girl's quest to solve the unexplained death of her mother. Abigail Tamper works to overcome her draconian master and housekeeper Mrs Cotton to get in touch with the spirit of her late mother who has been haunting Greave Hall since her death. Along the way Abigail has familiar teenage relationship issues with her close friend Lizzy, who is mourning the break-up with her boyfriend. After the visit from an exorcist Dr Reinhardt, Abigail establishes a communication method with the spirit of her late mother using a Ouija Board, which she keeps secretly hidden in the basement. Abigail's suspicion that her mother was murdered becomes clearer when the hierarchy of Greave Hall changes when the son and heir of Greave Hall Samuel Greaves returns injured from war and Abigail is required to nurse him. In the theme of murder mystery, Poisoned House has some unexpected twists that occur at the end right at the end of the book. It would be recommended for students in upper primary to lower secondary with these students being attracted to themes of overcoming authority.
Adam Fitzgerald