The House With 46 Chimneys by Ken Lussey #BookReview #ArachnidPress #4*

The House With 46 Chimneys is an adventure story set against the background of the early days of the coronavirus lockdown.

Life changes dramatically for Kaleb, Jude and Sequoia when they move to live with their aunt in a rural corner of central Scotland. But then life is changing dramatically for everyone. It’s the beginning of April 2020, the early days of the coronavirus lockdown. The roads are nearly empty of cars and the blue skies almost clear of aeroplanes.

Three local children they meet – in a socially distanced way – draw them into a two-century old family mystery involving the haunting of the nearby ruins of Dunmore Park, ‘The House With 46 Chimneys’. As the book builds to its climax, the children are faced with a decision.

Do they try to right a wrong that was done in 1828, a wrong that has had consequences ever since? Or is doing so simply too dangerous?

An Engaging Read!

There is certainly plenty going on in this one!

With their parent both being key workers Quoia, Jude and Kaleb are dispatched to live with their Aunt Felicity (call me Fliss) during the first lockdown. Fliss lives in the home her late husband drew up the plans for and the children are rather excited at the different layout. She takes them out for their daily exercise to a couple of local ruins and all three of them are interested to find out more about the history of these buildings. When the meet three local children – at a two metre distance, of course – they get drawn into a mystery connecting those others with the ruins they have visited and end up in a precarious position.

This is a tale which entranced me; there are some strange goings on but all clearly explained and easy to follow. I can imagine the YA audience that this book is aimed at being totally enthralled by it. With a historical mystery, a present day conundrum and lockdown to deal with, the author does an excellent job of keeping all threads straight. I can’t say I’m keen on the cover; had my review not been requested I’m not sure I would have picked this one up. My only criticism of the book would be that the children are just too well behaved and their language is a bit too proper. But that doesn’t take away from the engaging story and I’m happy to give this one four stars.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: YA adventure

Ken Lussey spent his first 17 years following his family – his father was a Royal Air Force navigator – around the world, a process that involved seven schools and a dozen different postal addresses. He went to Hull University in 1975, spending his time there meeting his wife Maureen, hitch-hiking around Great Britain, and doing just enough actual work to gain a reasonable degree in that most useful of subjects, philosophy.

The next step seemed obvious. He researched and wrote ‘A Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to Great Britain’, which was published by Penguin Books in 1983. An inexplicable regression into conformity saw him become a civil servant for the next couple of decades, during which time he fulfilled the long-held ambition of moving to Scotland. In more recent times he has helped Maureen establish the website ‘Undiscovered Scotland’ as the ultimate online guide to Scotland.

His first two novels, ‘Eyes Turned Skywards’ and ‘The Danger of Life’, were published in 2018 and 2019 and are thrillers set in Scotland during World War Two. ‘The House With 46 Chimneys’, an adventure story set in central Scotland against the background of the early days of the coronavirus lockdown, is Ken’s third novel and his first venture into writing for a younger audience.

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