The Big House by Carolyn Coman

bighouse.jpgWhen Ivy and Ray’s parents are sentenced to 25 years in prison, the kids are sent to live with Marietta Noland, the wealthy, child-hating old woman whose testimony landed their parents in jail in the first place. On the bright side, Ivy and Ray’s new home features limousines, butlers, luxurious bedrooms, and a mansion filled with dark passageways and mysterious corridors. At first, Mrs. Noland leaves the children to explore the estate in peace, but before long, she tires of their antics and threatens to send them away to separate boarding schools. Desperate to free their parents from jail, Ivy and Ray begin an investigation into Mrs. Noland’s life, certain she’s guilty of something — they just don’t know what. This is a spooky and wacky mystery with all the usual elements: shrouded portraits, secret intercom systems, midnight meetings, and a hidden document that everyone is frantic to find. Nobody in this novel is innocent, not really; but who’s the biggest villian?

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