The Whispers in the Walls

288p. (Scarlet and Ivy: Bk. 2). Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. May 2017. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781492634065.
Gr 4–6—Twin sisters Scarlet and Ivy are reunited after Scarlet is assumed dead and Ivy follows the clues left in a secret diary to find her. The siblings are on their way back to Rookwood, their detested boarding school, and soon after they return, items begin to disappear in the middle of the night. As Scarlet and Ivy investigate this mystery, they start to learn more about the dark history of their school and realize they may be in danger. The story is told from both Scarlet's and Ivy's points of view in alternating chapters. The narrative relies heavily on the backstory from The Lost Twin, so plan to have the previous volume before purchasing the sequel. Compared with the first title, The Whispers in the Wall falls short. With the exception of Scarlet and Ivy, characters are not well developed. The mystery of items disappearing in the middle of the night reads like a mere plot device and doesn't feel all that high-stakes for the characters. The mystery's twists and turns are revealed quickly, before much suspense is developed. However, there are some moments of genuine tension. The story ends with an intriguing mystery about Scarlet and Ivy's mother that remains unsolved, paving the way for another installment. The premise of an atmospheric mystery at an English boarding school may be enough of a pull to get students interested in reading this series, despite some minor flaws in this new book.
VERDICT An additional purchase for most; likely to have readers where The Lost Twin circulates well.

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