This written for adults, unlike the majority of Bellairs' work. Frankly, except that some of the scenes are a little more intellectually frightening than his YA work, I didn't notice much difference (and that's a good thing, because his YA writing is so excellent already). It was, as are all his books, charming, amusing, scary, surprising, quirky, funny and spooky. The characters are 'characters' -- also charming, quirky, surprising, etc. The story was simple and yet a slow-revealed mystery (actually, a little confusing, but I loved the writing so much I didn't really care).
Apparently this book is recommended reading for the Dungeons and Dragons set. I've never played a game of D&D (my geekery doesn't extend quite that far) but since it's all about wizards and spells and checking your manual, I can see why.
One small thing that bothered me (and I've noticed it in a few of his other books) -- people are always pulling out matches and lighters and things that they just happen to have in their pockets at just the right times -- even if it's been previously stated that they have just run out of matches, or that all they have with them is a book and a cane (no mention of matches). Call me nit-picky, but aren't you supposed to previously reference stuff like that?
No matter. The book was worth the wait. The plot didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but that didn't really matter because I loved every page of it regardless. While I really enjoy and appreciate his young adult works, it is a pity that he was not able to continue writing for adults, since I think we missed out on some amazing novels. However, Johnny Dixon will have to suffice. I think I need another Johnny fix.
Daphne / somewhere I have never traveled