Set in the quaint town of Lily Brooke, Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail by M. Gail Grant, is a novel filled with intrigue, suspense, and adventure for MALB (The Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke) who find they need to set the town free from a dark secret. A fun supernatural read, at its core this young adult novel is a heartwarming story about friendship and family.
The adventure begins when the trio takes a Saturday morning walk through the woods, led by strange chanting and voices that only Magdalena can hear, revealing that there may be a demonic presence in idyllic Lily Brooke. MALB bands together to save the town using the talents of witches and wizards, while facing their own hurdles amongst each other.
The Crooked Trail is an enchanting work of young adult fiction, given Grant’s attention to detail for each character, and the well-paced mystery woven through the entire novel. There are a few tough to follow plot changes, but after the novel hits its stride, the story is propelled forward by a wonderfully realized world, and has readers cheering for the underdog.
A group of young sleuths often makes for fun reading for young adult and middle grade readers, and Grant has created a compelling band of characters who face some truly spooky situations, while the story never loses its core optimism. Even with its darker themes, the book is age-appropriate for middle grade readers as well.