John Bellairs successfully creates here the evocative world of Fifties childhood - listing to radio programs with unprovocative titles like, 'The House of Mystery,' whilst munching a plateful of Ritz crackers and cream cheese. Mind you, wasn't it still called the wireless in the early Fifties? The anachronism can be easily forgiven for so much of the atmosphere and sense of time is perfect. Johnny, living with his grandparents, is involved in a world of 'grown-up' conversation, littered with archaeological phrases and references. From mummies, it's but a short step in a boy's imagination to ghosts and hauntings, and an even shorter step to being embroiled in an adventure that makes 'The House of Mystery' seem as tame as Larry the Lamb.
Books for Keeps
No. 42, January, 1987, p. 9.