John Bellairs is my new hero. I was completely unaware of his work until recently, and I’m endebted to a mention of him on Nick’s blog, ‘A Pile of Leaves.’ I don’t think any Bellairs novels are in print in the UK, or have ever been. He died in 1991 and from the late 60s onwards he produced a range of Gothic mysteries for kids, many of them illustrated by the wonderful Edward Gorey. Bellairs world is a kind of eldritch version of Three Investigators… a dismal and surreal Hardy Boys… an aesthete’s Nancy Drew.
Review by Paul Magrs: