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When her parents die, Aurora is sent to live with her grandfather, in a creepy house in the aptly named Ossuary Isle, in the southern swamps.
When people start turning up dead with strange swirly burn marks on their hands, it's up to Aurora, Mama Noonie (the local hoodoo priestess) and Missy (Miss Prissy Mirabel, the pet raccoon) to try and solve the mystery before whatever is haunting Ossuary Isle claims any more victims.
I don't know why this was marked as children's - it's definitely not for children, YA would be the target audience.
The story by itself was simple and somewhat predictable - the artwork, however, turned it into a thing of wonder. It was all very eerie and dark. The odd thing is that from the backgrounds, to all the other characters, everything was beautifully drawn - but when it came to Aurora herself the art style wasn't as good. I suppose it could have been done purposefully to emphasise how Aurora didn't fit into her surroundings, but I think this could have still been done without the character seeming less perfectly rendered than the others...
That aside, the plot allied to the artwork made for a wonderfully creepy story - a brilliant introduction to the Southern Gothic genre to younger readers, but again, not too young, this book was very creepy.
Tom Hammock's official site
Megan Hutchinson's official site
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