I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE CARREFOUR CURSE by Dianne K. Salerni Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!
The Addams Family meets The Westing Game in this exhilarating mystery about a modern magical dynasty trapped in the ruins of their once-grand, now-crumbling ancestral home.
Twelve-year-old Garnet regrets that she doesn’t know her family. Her mother has done her best to keep it that way, living far from the rest of the magical Carrefour clan and their dark, dangerous mansion known as Crossroad House.
But when Garnet finally gets summoned to the estate, it isn’t quite what she hoped for. Her relatives are strange and quarrelsome, each room in Crossroad House is more dilapidated than the last, and she can’t keep straight which dusty hallways and cobwebbed corners are forbidden.
Then Garnet learns the family secret: their dying patriarch fights to retain his life by stealing power from others. Every accident that isn’t an accident, every unexpected illness and unexplained disappearance grants Jasper Carrefour a little more time. While the Carrefours squabbles over who will inherit his role when (if) he dies, Garnet encounters evidence of an even deeper curse. Was she brought to Crossroad House as part of the curse . . . or is she meant to break it?
Written with loads of creepy atmosphere and an edge-of-your-seat magical mystery, this thrilling story reads like The Haunting of Hill House for preteens. Perfect for late-night reading under the covers.
★ “A standout, genre-bending dark fantasy. . . . Salerni enlivens classic horror tropes and gothic ambience, complete with a sentient manor house, blending wry humor with atmospheric descriptions. . . .”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ “Salerni’s gothic charmer is deliciously creepy and atmospheric, building an immersive fantasy world that gently explores intergenerational trauma. . . . An enchanting and evocative tale.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ “An inventive take on the supernatural that skillfully blends drama, humor, magic and mystery. Salerni’s large cast of characters is delightful and each family member is enough of a rounded individual that readers should easily keep track of them all. The puzzle, spook factor and complex family dynamics make this a perfect book for upper middle-grade readers and fans of The Addams Family.”—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
“Interconnected mysteries keep readers turning pages, and when they all converge, the payoff is spine-chilling and satisfying.”—The Horn Book
“Fans of The Haunting of Hill House or Schwab’s Gallant will surely stay up late at night reading this heart-pounding novel.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A fun page-turner that touches on the deeper themes of family, identity, and what it means to pay for the sins of the past.”—Booklist
“Spooky, dark, and enthralling. I couldn’t put it down until every mystery had been solved.” —Cassie Beasley, New York Times bestselling author of Circus Mirandus
The Carrefour Curse was so fun!
I loved the Clue meets Addams Family meets Monster House vibes. The house maps had me craving a good game of Clue!
I would agree with the blurb and say this is definitely a Haunting of Hill House for middle graders. No less great for adults.
Each chapter is prefaced with a gemstone and facts about said stone. These stones then have a small, or large, part in that chapter. And if you’ve read any of my review before, you know I love these added details.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of, the illustrated family tree certainly helps, especially once you realize that spouses are not included. I liked that the Carrefour family were named in reference to the magic they specialized in. Garnet, Ash, Rose, River, etc.
The adolescents in the story were more inviting that the adults, they also had more page time so you got a better feel for them. Garnet was a great character. She is kind, smart and sassy, she makes mistakes, but also isn’t afraid to own up to them.. after a little while anyway. The supporting characters, her cousins, are also written well. I love that they were involved in almost every scene. Family is a big part of this story.
There are some darker aspects of The Carrefour Curse that some may find… disturbing. The patriarch steals the life energy from family members to live longer and maintain control, and there is a house that literally disappears people, just to name a couple.
Salerni does a fabulous job of giving us so much in just a couple hundred pages. The attention to detail with the magic as well as the dilapidated house is so vivid. The magic system was original and tied in well with the story with minimal plot holes.
I would have liked more detail into the Old House time difference/magic.
I enjoyed the pace of this short story. Nothing was drawn out and the reveals were not overly dramatic. It was just the right amount of suspense with perfected twists & turns.
The Carrefour Curse works well as a standalone, but I would love to see more adventures with Garnet, Oka & Ash, as well as Stella and Tana! There is way more to be explored.
I rated The Carrefour Curse four point five stars.
About Dianne K. Salerni:
Dianne K. Salerni has written many books for children, including Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts and Jadie in Five Dimensions. After teaching elementary school for twenty-five years, Dianne now spends her time hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2,000-year-old pyramids for book research. Visit her online at DianneSalerni.com.
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Title: THE CARREFOUR CURSE
Authors: Dianne K. Salerni
Pub. Date: January 31, 2023
Publisher: Holiday House
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Find it: Goodreads, https://books2read.com/THE-CARREFOUR-CURSE
Three (3) winners will receive a finished copy of THE CARREFOUR CURSE, US Only.
Ends May 2nd, midnight EST.
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Love the review. Sounds like a very good book.