Reviews /

The Ghosts of Craig Glas Castle

Authored by Michelle Briscombe
Published by Candy Jar Books

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The Ghosts of Craig Glas Castle is an engaging story that centres around Flora and Archie, who were introduced in the previous book in the series, The House on March Lane. Flora, the heroine, lives with her father, Horace, who owns an antiques and salvage yard which is haunted. She has a very special gift: she can speak to ghosts! Flora has come to terms with her ability to communicate with the spirits who are reluctant to leave their worldly goods behind, using her abilities to bring the ghosts closure. Archie, who is a few years younger and is being fostered by Flora’s dad, is less comfortable with these, sometimes intrusive, ghosts. However, between them all they have found a balance that seems to keep everyone happy.

One day Flora’s dad gets an invitation to visit a stately home, Craig Glas Castle, to itemise the antiques and furniture that needs to be sold as the castle is prepared for renovation and conversion to luxury flats. Horace, Archie and Flora head off to the Gower peninsula in Wales where, as well as taking care of business, they plan to have a well-earned few days holiday. When they arrive, they discover that the Craig Glas is huge and they would have to stay for longer than originally planned. The two welcoming hosts, husband and wife, Bleddyn and Marged, as agents for the current owners greet them and are able to tell them about the history of the castle.

Flora and Archie start having encounters with the troubled ghosts of Craig Glas and they start to suspect that there is a mystery to solve that the ghosts are trying to draw to their attention. By way of flashbacks to 1865 we learn about the history of when the castle was at its peak of glory and was owned by a very famous, very rich and very kind opera singer, Madam Gomez. The children meet the maids, the housekeeper and her daughter, Genevieve, who turns out to have a key role to play in the mystery that Flora and Archie will have to solve in order for the spirits to rest. When Madam Gomez makes a rash decision to marry again, life at Craig Glas changes drastically and the consequences will echo down the years.

The Ghosts of Craig Glas Castle is a cleverly written story, maintaining a balance of modern and historical contexts, two different timelines and fascinating characterisation, full of adventure and suspense and a great twist at the end. It’s a lovely warm hearted ghost story and I would highly recommend this for readers aged 9+.

Shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og Book Award 2024