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The Ladies of the Lake (Gilda Joyce) Hardcover – May 4, 2006

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Series: Gilda Joyce
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile (May 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525476938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525476931
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,570,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9–Gilda Joyce, psychic investigator, makes a return appearance in this comic mystery set at a swanky Catholic girls school where she is a new student on scholarship. Our Lady of Sorrows seems haunted by the ghost of a student who drowned three years earlier. Gildas encounters with the headmistress, a handsome teacher, and a small group of popular senior girls lead her to a situation in which she might solve the mystery at the expense of her own safety. Meanwhile, shes not crazy about her widowed mothers unemployed boyfriend. Gilda is a verbal, funny, engaging character whose self-confidence and fearlessness are more reminiscent of Nancy Drew than Sammy Keyes. And, like the classic old series mysteries, this one has an exaggerated sense of reality that usually works well. Occasionally the mix of humor and spookiness doesnt quite mesh, and an anti-hazing plot is worthwhile but a bit heavy on the didacticism. More often, though, this is an intriguing story filled with surprise and suspense. Its length is a plus in that it allows for more complexity. (For instance, Moms boyfriend turns out to be not quite the clown that Gilda had imagined.) Overall, its an irreverent, well-written addition to the too-small collection of engrossing mysteries for junior high readers.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The spirited sleuth who first appeared in Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (2005) is less than pleased when her mother enrolls her in a well-respected (but somewhat quirky) Catholic girls school. Gilda's only solace is the rumor that the place is haunted. Though virtually all the adults are played for laughs and the plot could have used some tightening, sassy, stubborn Gilda shines, and an admirable lesson about compassion is gently but firmly tucked between chuckles. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

The first book in Jennifer Allison's popular GILDA JOYCE: PSYCHIC INVESTIGATOR series received starred reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly and inclusion in School Library Journal's "Best Books of the Year" and Booklist Magazine's "Top Ten Mysteries" lists. Books in the Gilda Joyce series have continued to garner critical praise and awards including an Edgar Award nomination from Mystery Writers of America and a Sunshine State Award nomination. The Gilda Joyce mysteries have been translated into seven languages.

A former journalist, book editor and high school English teacher, Jennifer Allison lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and three children. She has given presentations and writing workshops at schools and conferences throughout the country. Read more about Jennifer Allison, the inspiration for the new IGGY LOOMIS series, and materials for integrating IGGY LOOMIS with your school's language arts and science curriculum at The author is available for interviews and events upon request.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
Its a good book to keep you on your toes.
Gilda is a fun character and her adventures exciting.
Doran Schrantz
It was just such a fun and easy book to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pat Shand VINE VOICE on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The second book in the Gilda Joyce series, "The Ladies of the Lake," is a solid sequel with a plot that is tighter and more intricate then its predecessor, but there isn't as much of Gilda's over-the-top charm. Of course, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments at our heroine's anecdotes, but I just wish there was a bit more of it. The way I feel about this book is that Jennifer Allison (the author, of course) got to KNOW Gilda through the first book, and by the second book she was comfortable enough with Gilda to focus on the story.

But what a story it is! Other than "not enough Gilda humor" there are no setbacks to this wonderful book. There are many characters, all very well developed, many secrets that are gradually discovered, and plot twists that will send the reader on a rollercoaster ride.

The story centers around Gilda Joyce, who believes herself to be a Psychic Investigator, attending a Catholic Girls School, with hopes to uncover the mystery behind the death of a girl who would have been a senior that year. The story is interesting, a bit creepy, and always witty.

I just have to add that Gilda Joyce is so REAL; I relate to her on so many things. The way that she acts, reacts, and thinks is so real and so honest that I just have to admire Jennifer Allison for creating such a great character.

In children's literature these days, the only books that have that can't-put-it-down quality are Harry Potter, and now Gilda Joyce.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of books in my life, but this has to be the best. It not only has a great story, but great details as well. It can be scary and wacky, but that didn't bother me much. I literally was attached to the book: I carried it around almost the whole time!! I don't believe in ghosts and spirits and pyschic stuff, but I found it realllly interesting. There was a dull spot in the whole book, which is pretty long. She's really different from other kids, and I like that. She's different from ANY character I've read about, actually. This book is AWESOME. ~Sarah
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Herrera on May 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Gilda Joyce books are SO great. They are very different from other books and it is a fun-mystery. It really keeps you hooked. Gilda Joyce is a thirteen year old freshman who is attending "Our Lady of Sorrows" private girl school for the first time. She discovers the ghost of a past student at Our Lady of Sorrows drowned in the school lake and she thinks her ghost is haunting the school. I highly reccomend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Thirteen-year-old Gilda Joyce has always been content with attending a public school. The way she sees it, as long as she's permitted to do what she pleases - which is investigate psychic/paranormal phenomena - and wear whatever she wants - including leopard-print jackets and stiletto heels - everything is good. Which is why, when Gilda's mother suggests that she apply for a scholarship to the private girls school Our Lady of Sorrows, Gilda is more than reluctant to agree. After all, why would Gilda possibly want to trade in her freedom to be trapped in a school surrounded by girls, and forced to wear an icky pink uniform to mark her as a freshman - aka, fresh meat. However, while on a tour of Our Lady of Sorrows, Gilda soon learns that a girl named Dolores Lambert drowned on the school grounds a mere three years ago, when she was a lowly freshman herself; and rumor has it that her spirit has haunted the grounds ever since. With information like that, Gilda is absolutely unable to turn-down the scholarship, and, come September, finds herself wearing the puke-pink uniform herself, and skipping along the concrete paths that lead to Our Lady. Now, using all of her psychic and investigative skills, Gilda begins digging deeper into the case of Dolores Lambert, and soon finds herself in the midst of a secret club, and the truth about Dolores' mysterious death. The truth that will ultimately put Gilda in more danger than she could have ever imagined, and leave her trying to reveal the culprits, but protecting herself from an untimely death at the same time.

After reading Jennifer Allison's first installment GILDA JOYCE PSYCHIC INVESTIGATOR, I was ecstatic to find that a sequel about the zany, psychic detective was being published.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terri Rowan on July 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When Gilda Joyce's mom suggests a private school, Gilda is less than thrilled. She enjoys going to school with her best friend, Wendy. Why would she even consider a snotty, upper class, private girls' academy? Trying to be civil--after all, her mom's boyfriend has greased the wheels for her entrance--Gilda agrees to check it out.

Our Lady of Sorrows is worse than Gilda expected. The only thing that can convince her to attend would be a good mystery. While on a tour of the campus, a mystery is just what she finds. As a "psychic detective," Gilda decides to go undercover to find out what really happened to Delores Lambert--the freshman who drowned in the school's lake three years earlier--even if it means wearing a ghastly pink uniform.

At Our Lady of Sorrows, Gilda makes new friends and enemies, and the ghost of Delores seems to haunt them all. What starts out as a mystery soon grows into something much larger, and more dangerous than Gilda ever expected.

Gilda is smart and sassy, yet she happily marches to her own beat. The concept of the "psychic detective" is fun for kids and creates a great opportunity to pull kids in to another great series. With all of the paranormal/magic series out there for kids, it's interesting to see a new character who deals with the unusual while existing in an otherwise "normal" world.

While this is a good pick for most kids, some parents may not care for the use of mildly explicit language (d***; a**) or for some ethical choices Gilda makes, especially toward the end. Fortunately, Gilda comes through in more ways than one.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer


4½-Balloons / 5-Stars for Amazon
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