Share for friends:

Read The Dollhouse Murders (1995)

The Dollhouse Murders (1995)

Online Book

3.93 of 5 Votes: 2
Your rating
0590434616 (ISBN13: 9780590434614)
scholastic paperbacks

The Dollhouse Murders (1995) - Plot & Excerpts

Twelve, almost thirteen, year old Amy Treloar lives in Claiborne with her father, mother, and eleven year old sister Louann who is brain damaged and attends Stadler School for Exceptional Children. Amy’s new best friend at her school is Ellen Kramer whose family has just recently moved to town. Amy is tired of constantly having to help take care of her sister, so when her father’s sister, Aunt Clare, returns from her home in Chicago temporarily to get the old house of Amy’s great-grandparents near Rainbow Falls cleaned out and ready to sell, Amy jumps at the invitation to spend some time there with her. As she and her aunt sort through clothes, trinkets, and other memorabilia in the attic, Amy comes across a long-forgotten dollhouse, a finely crafted replica of the house they are in, which Clare’s grandmother gave to her as a fifteenth birthday present. However, Claire seems unusually distressed about it, and Amy wonders why.In the process of talking to her aunt and doing her own research, Amy learns that when her grandparents were killed in an accident, her then teenaged aunt and very young father came to live with her great-grandparents. She also finds out why Aunt Clare is so distressed—the great-grandparents were murdered in the house “by person or persons unknown” back in 1952. Also, Clare’s fiancé, who died in a car accident that same night, was the prime suspect in the unsolved case, so Clare blames herself for her grandparents’ deaths because she had argued a lot with them over their objections to her seeing her boyfriend. When Ellen comes over to the house for a birthday party, the girls hear scratching and scurrying noises coming from the dollhouse, the dolls they have played with, which represent Amy’s relatives, are not where they left them, and the dollhouse is filled with an eerie light. And worse yet, her aunt won’t believe Amy when she tells her about what she sees.Are the dolls trying to tell Amy something? Are their movements connected to the grisly murders of her own great-grandparents? Who committed the murders? And might history repeat itself? This macabre, almost Gothic-like fantasy mystery for middle grade readers has a very exciting and suspenseful plot that is hard to put down. Of course, those who object to ghost stories will not like the book, and some of the action might be a little intense for younger readers, but I enjoyed the novel immensely. As to language, there are a few common euphemisms (darn, blasted), but nothing worse. A couple of references to smoking a pipe and smelling tobacco smoke occur. However, it is made clear that both Amy and Ellen attend church. There is also the added benefit of seeing Amy’s attitude towards her younger sister and their parents develop as a result of her experiences. This book has won the Texas Bluebonnet Award (1986), Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award (1986), Iowa Children’s Choice Award (1988), New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award (1988), and Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award (1989), among others.

The Dollhouse Murders is equal parts "Mystery that you aren't meant to collect little clues and solve on your own before Sherlock does" and ham-fisted, saccharin "everyone is important, so love for all." Amy lives with her mother, father, and her developmentally disabled sister Louann. Amy is 12 year-old and is sick of having to take care of Louann. Louann is constantly making a scene and causing Amy to have a hard time making and keeping friends. Amy's aunt Clare is in town, clearing out Amy's grandparents' old house. Clare invites Amy to stay over for awhile, to get her some time away from Louann. The house is an old house, filled with junk. As Clare is going through all the stuff, Amy finds a dollhouse. Clare shows obvious uneasiness around the dollhouse and discourages Clare from playing with it. Amy tries, but the dollhouse has other plans. The dolls appear to move on their own and start acting out past events, which Amy interprets as clues. The book is under 150 pages, so really anything else I could say would be a spoiler. The plot is pretty solid, considering the short length. Amy and Clare are pretty well developed, and I never felt that Wright lingered unnecessarily on anything. Was the plot fully realized and capitalized on? No, I think she could have easily had a 400 or 500 page book if she fleshed it out. However, she does a good job with what she has. The only real problem I have is with the ending, which while it does provide closure, it is very unfulfilling and left me, honestly, a little pissed. A terrible ending doesn't ruin a book, but I really didn't like ending on such a terrible note. It's a perfectly valid ending, just a shitty choice of culprit. The Dollhouse Murders is obviously a kids' book, so any criticisms that I have would probably be overlooked or unnoticed by the target audience. For what it is, the book is a solid story that keeps you ready with your fingers already gripping the next page, just hoping that you learn something new soon.

What do You think about The Dollhouse Murders (1995)?

- My Description -Amy goes to stay with her Aunt in a big country house that belonged to her great grandparents. She discovers a beautiful dollhouse that is the exact replica of the one she's staying in. She notices strange things going on with the dollhouse. She sets out to uncover the mystery surrounding the dollhouse...- My Review -I wanted to re-read an old childhood read of mine, and this book is it.The one thing I didn't like about this book is the way Amy's mentally challenged sister is treated by Amy and the rest of her family. They treat her like she's a "retard" instead of just being mentally challenged. Kinda mean. The book did had a happy ending, and the family "sees" the error of their ways in the end.All clouds have silver linings. =)
—Unsolved Mystery

This book was absolutely terrifying as a child. I was probably about nine when I read it, and still today, at 36, just thinking about the book creeps me out enough to turn on a light if it happens to be late at night. Little moving dolls made to resemble murdered family members, including the baby brother, that continually reposition themselves into the positions that they were killed in... What a creep-fest. And if I remember correctly, it was on some sort of school summer reading list! Because teaching kids to crap their pants in terror is an important part of growing up, I suppose.
—Eliza Maxwell

Amy is 12 years old, about to be 13 and she is tired of taking care of her sister. Amy's sister, Louanna, is mentally challenged. One day at the mall, when Amy was supposed to spend the day with her friend Ellen and she was made to bring Louanna, everything goes wrong. Amy has had enough and tells her mother so.But all her mother tells her is that she is selfish, that she is cruel and she is a girl that has everything. Amy becomes so upset that she runs to her Aunt Clare, who is currently staying in Amy's great-grandparents house.Aunt Clare can tell something upset Amy and when Amy tells her what's wrong, Aunt Clare gets the idea of letting Amy staying with her for awhile. She works it out with her Amy's parents and for a few weeks Amy will be staying with her Aunt Clare, and Louanna won't be there.Amy is happy to b there and even more happy when she finds a beautiful dollhouse in the attic. It looks exactly like the house she is staying in. It turns out the dollhouse is her Aunt Clare's. It was given to her by Amy's great-grandparents.Amy is fasintated by the dollhouse and loves to look it. But then, strange things start happening. The dolls in the dollhouse are moving! Doors are opening and closing, and the dollhouse lights up all by itself. Amy can't explain the things that are going on and she is beginning to get scared.I decided to read this after reading another book by Betty Ren Wright and liking it very much. The Dollhouse Murders hooked me right away and I couldn't put it down. The first chapter is intense, Amy having a fight with her mom and you can feel the frustration she feels with her mom for not being understanding.And when we get to the dollhouse, the description of it sounds lovely and it makes you wish that you could see it. You can also feel Amy's happiness when Aunt Clare invites her to stay for awhile.As I read more and more, I got wrapped up in the mystery of the dollhouse, the mystery of what happened to Amy's great-grandparents. What is happening with the dollhouse? What is it trying to tell Amy? I didn't know the answers to these questions so I had to keep reading to find out. Overall, The Dollhouse Murders is a page turner, a wonderful intense and sometimes creepy mystery.

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Read books by author Betty Ren Wright

Read books in category Fiction