It’s a bit Famous Five meet Wuthering Heights, set on Sheriffmuir just above Stirling. I’d saved Alex Nye’s first novel Chill until now, as it’s set over the Christmas holidays, and her characters have been snowed in (and can’t get to school once term starts…) and find themselves embroiled in a ghostly past.

Samuel and his mother have moved from Edinburgh to a rented cottage at Dunadd, and their landlady is Mrs Morton in the ‘big house’ where she lives with her three children, after Mr Morton seemingly died of fright a few years earlier.

Alex Nye, Chill

There’s something strange going on; a weeping woman, and a female in a blue dress can be seen looking out one of the windows on occasion.

Samuel and Fiona Morton get on well and they try to find out what it all means, while Fiona’s two older brothers are pretty unfriendly, albeit for a reason. There might be a curse on the Mortons, and Fiona and Samuel want to find out why, and how to set things right, but have been forbidden by Mrs Morton to do anything of the kind.

Alex Nye used to live in that cottage, and she was there during the big freeze, so she’s got the snowed in on Sheriffmuir down perfectly. The cold and the snow feel most atmospheric, and go so well with the chilling memories from the past that refuse to go away.

Nice classic style children’s adventure, set somewhere interesting, if a bit cold.


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