Wednesday, January 03, 2024

A Girl Called Justice: The Ghost in the Garden by Elly Griffiths

First Lines: September 1937. "It seems strange to think we'll be third years," said Stella. "Yes," said Justice. "I thought I'd get expelled long before this."
Justice Jones and her friends are third-year students now at boarding school, and there's a new girl in their group. Leticia has never been to school before, and although she doesn't care for rules, the teachers don't seem to mind! She decides that Justice is going to be her particular friend, much to the dismay of Justice's closest chums, Stella and Dorothy.
The girls in Justice's school group sneak out to the barn one night for a midnight feast and see a ghost in the garden. Then one of the girls disappears and ransom notes appear, torn from the pages of a crime novel. Now Justice has to find the missing girl and learn the identity of her kidnapper.
Although written for children between the ages of nine and eleven, I enjoy reading Elly Griffiths' Justice Jones series, too. I really get the feel for life in an English boarding school in the 1930s, and the mysteries are fun to solve. 
I'm reminded of Harry Potter whenever one of the job positions at the boarding school is mentioned, and Justice finds even more hidden rooms in the huge old mansion. I can't resist hidden rooms... 
It's a good thing that Justice has good reasoning skills because they're put to the test with her friends. The new girl, Leticia, monopolizes Justice, and Stella and Dorothy become quite upset. Justice finds it's not easy trying to keep everyone happy. 
I'm looking forward to the next book, one, to see if the teachers continue trying to knock some of the independence out of this young sleuth, and, two, to see how one of the characters deals with her good news. If you're a fan of Elly Griffiths' adult mysteries, don't be surprised if you enjoy this series for younger readers, too. Indulge your inner child!

A Girl Called Justice: The Ghost in the Garden by Elly Griffiths
ISBN:  9781786541338
Quercus Children's Books © 2021
Paperback, 200 pages
KidLit, #3 Justice Jones mystery
Rating: B
Source: Purchased from Amazon. 


  1. I give all credit to anyone who writes books that young people want to read, Cathy. And of course, Elly Griffiths is so phenomenally talented, in my opinion... I wonder how she does it, being so prolific and each time, a worthy read (many much more than that!). I'll have what she's having!

    1. If I were a writer, I'd be in total agreement. As it is, as a dedicated reader, I can only smile and savor.

  2. I've read a few Elly Griffiths books and hope to read more this year. I wouldn't have thought to check out a children's books series but you've given me an idea...


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