Staff Review: Withering-by-Sea
Stella is an eleven-year-old orphan living with her three aunts in a boring, seaside mansion, the Hotel Majestic, where elderly people come to partake of the healthful waters. Her life suddenly becomes way too interesting when she witnesses a murder and finds herself on the run from the evil professor/magician Starke and his gang of men who desperately want the tiny magic bottle that has been strangely entrusted to her. She quite literally bumps into kind Signor Capelli and his musical cats where she finds companionship and help. With eccentric, interesting characters this tween novel is a fun, intriguing blend of mystery, adventure and magic that kids will eagerly eat up. A sequel may be in the future since this novel hints at unanswered questions about Stella’s ancestry.