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VINE VOICEon June 17, 2011
When thirteen-year old Mallory Gilmartin moves to the weird little town of Cedar Creek she thinks her life has ended. But living in the old Marlatt cottage under the shadow of the Marlatt Manor proves to be anything but dull. Definitely weird - but not dull. Mallory is lured into the mansion's baffling secret. Whatever happened to Violet Marlatt? While she uncovers the events of the past, she is haunted by strange dreams and the figure of a young girl. On top of that, the town is home to an unusual assortment of suspects, including Mallory's Grandma Aggie, who seems to know everything about everyone. As the new girl in town, Mallory must sift through the likes of nerdy Kyle, know-it-all Renée, Edna May the surly librarian, Artemis Wurley the shady real estate agent, Roger Dunslop the uptight banker, Albert Hampton the crabby caretaker, and the guy in the maroon-colored sports car, in order to sort out friend from foe. Anne McGee has created a solid page-turner reminiscent of Phyllis A. Whitney's mysteries. Middle grade readers - boys and girls alike - will enjoy unraveling "The Mystery at Marlatt Manor" with Mallory.
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on June 17, 2011
There was a smooth reading style to The Mystery at Marlatt Manor which made it easy to forget the time and to keep flipping the pages. Ms. McGee paces her narrative as it races forward with twists and turns in the plot. I was kept guessing till the last page of this Mystery. I am giving it to my grandson tomorrow.
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on June 26, 2011
The Mystery At Marlatt Manor transported me back to my very first experience as a reader of the mystery genre. Transfixed by the inventive twist and turns, and on the edge of my seat the entire ride, I found the story witty, positive and spiritual. I'd recommend it for the young at heart of any age.

Anne Loader McGee is a wizard of the children's mystery-adventure yarn, and I believe she's spun a classic here!
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on July 6, 2011
Book Title: The Mystery of Marlatt Manor
Author: Anne Loader McGee
Book Review by FM
The story is riveting from beginning to end. A woman, her son and thirteen-year-old daughter move from Philadelphia to their hometown, Cedar Creek, Virginia under not very happy circumstances. The daughter, Mallory, is unhappy with the move. The only positive thing for her is that they will be closer to her grandmother who she is fond of and who is a vibrant, young at heart, dynamic character.
The family rents an old house at the foot of a hill on top of which is a manor. The manor and the house are part of the same property. The manor is visible from the window of Mallory's bedroom. Mystery surrounds the vacant manor and its now dead owner who is said to have passed away under unexpected circumstances. Stories circulate about the strange disappearance of the owner's daughter. Was the father involved in the disappearance? Is the daughter alive or dead? What is causing the mysterious lights and shadows at one of the windows of the supposedly vacant manor? What do the visionary appearances that Mallory experiences mean?
In spite of her dislike of the town she has moved into, Mallory's experiences of strange psychic phenomena related to the manor, its owner and his daughter draw her into the mystery. Her grandmother and a boy Mallory has met at school support her. When Mallory and her friend from school venture into the `haunted' manor in their attempts to solve the mystery, they receive threats. Mallory's Mom forbids her to go near the manor. However, something pulls Mallory towards the manor and deeper and deeper into the mystery.
Interesting twists and turns and question marks crop up at every turn. Ghosts, nightmares, spooky occurrences, and suspicious happenings add to the suspense and drama as the story moves rapidly and seamlessly.
As unraveling occurs, new questions arise and the reader is involved in a new direction keeping him or her glued to the book.
The conclusion is a total surprise, nothing like what one would have guessed as the story progresses. A very good read indeed for those who like mysteries.
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on April 13, 2011
Mallory Gilmartin, uprooted by divorce from her Philadelphia home, is transplanted to rural Virginia. Cedar Creek is a complete bore and its middle school doesn't even have a girls' baseball team. Everything changes fast when a sports car forces the thirteen-year-old cyclist off the road and into a ditch as it speeds away from the spooky house on the hill.

Soon after, Mallory's mom tells her about Violet Marlatt, a missing teen who disappeared 50 years ago from that mansion during a party, and was never seen again. That night, Mallory sees a flickering light in the deserted house followed by the silhouette of a girl. Could that be Violet's ghost?

Anne Loader McGee brings us a fast paced middle school novel, The Mystery at Marlatt Manor, as teen sleuth Mallory uncovers the mystery of the missing girl and the weird people that seem to be hunting for a possible lost treasure.

Along the way, McGee introduces us to a cast of quirky characters. First, there's Grandma Aggie, who would rather ride a motorcycle, skydive, or delve into forensic science than sit in a rocker and knit. There's also Kyle, an 8th grade nerd who wears checkered pants; Roger Dunlop, a grumpy banker; and Albert Hampton, Marlatt Manor's creepy caretaker.

Coupled with all this, Aggie may lose her beloved home and Mallory has strange dreams that may be the key to solving everyone's problems, including the manor's mystery.

If you like suspense, psychic ability, and a scary story, The Mystery at Marlatt Manor is for you. Just beware, once you start reading, you won't be able to stop until you reach the surprising climax.
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on July 6, 2011
Anne Loader McGee has written a Y/A mystery that keeps you turning the page.
The heroine, Mallory Gilmartin, is courageous and intuitive. She is disappointed in moving to a new town to be near her mom's work -- Her mom and dad are going through a divorce and her dad's unwillingness to let her live with him in Philadelphia stings.
But she makes the best of it. And of course, there is the mystery right on her doorstep. What happened to Violet Marlatt? Did her father murder her? Is she haunting Marlatt Manor?
Who are the buyers who are so interested in purchasing the manor and why?
This is a mesmerizing ghost story and treasure hunt that will keep you guessing until the end.
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on July 2, 2011
This is the first mystery/spooky type book that I recall reading. From the beginning of the book to the end it kept me feeling involved the whole way through. You never know what might happen and its extremely hard to stop reading. I hardly stopped until I finished it. I would like to see more books like this as well.
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on July 16, 2011

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on August 23, 2011
13 year old Mallory Martin moves to a new town and becomes fascinated the a deserted manor house. She sees a shady figure in the manor house's window and hears a voice calling her in dreams. Together with her new friend Kyle, she sets out to discover what really happened at Marlatt Manor fifty years ago and why a mysterious figure is trying to scare them away.
Spunky heroine and a good payoff. I enjoyed reading it.
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on July 7, 2011
How would you react if you had evidence that a dead person was trying to tell you something? Thirteen-year-old Mallory Gilmartin has had to move with her mom Lorna and older brother Ron from their home in Philadelphia, PA, to the small community of Cedar Creek, VA, after her father leaves the family and her mother finds a job there. It is Lorna's old hometown, and Mallory likes being near her grandmother Aggie but misses all her old friends in Philadelphia. The Gilmartins rent a cottage which is part of a deserted estate, the Lawrence Marlatt Manor, from which the young Marlatt daughter, Violet, had disappeared some fifty years before following a party. Some think that the mansion is haunted.
All Mallory really wants to do is to go back to Philadelphia, but strange things start happening in Cedar Creek. Mallory sees a light in the top window of the empty manor. Then she starts having sudden nightmares in which a voice calls for her help. There also seems to be some sort of collusion to sell the old house going on among a stranger from New York named Lionel Simpkins who drives a maroon car and almost runs Mallory down, the old Marlatt caretaker Albert Hampton, real estate agent Artemis Wurly, and even the assistant bank manager Roger Dunslop who just happens to be Mrs. Gilmartin's new boss. With the help of Aggie and her new friend Kyle Johnson, will Mallory be able to solve the mystery? And is the ghost of Violet Marlatt trying to tell her something?
This middle grade mystery has a touch of the gothic woven into the plot. The story moves along well and easily holds the reader's interest. The manuscript was a finalist for the Bloom Award in 2010. Mallory does disobey her mother's instructions to keep away from the Marlatt place. However, she says that she hates disobeying her mom, and in the end when Lorna asks her about it, Mallory replies, "I really struggled with that, but I finally decided that I just had to help...solve this mystery....You tell me to use good judgment when I make decisions, so I hope you see that was what I was trying to do. I'm sorry if I let you down though." Her mother responds by saying, "You did well, and I think we can work out an equitable punishment." There may be some who object to books, even fiction, which contain psychic or paranormal activities, but for those who just like a good ghost story The Mystery at Marlatt Manor will be an enjoyable read.
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