Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Review: In the Stone Circle

In the Stone Circle

by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel


This one we picked up at a yard sale. It's in amazing condition for a classroom reading selection. Probably means it wasn't a popular book. Not sure why. We did a bit of research on the author. She also wrote The Box Trolls, ParaNorman, The Suddenly supernatural series, the Lily B series, and one of Kit's BeForever mystery's - The Jazzman's Trumptet...among many others.


This is a really cool ghost story and mystery wrapped up in one. I wasn't fond of Miranda at first, but she didn't ruin the story for me.

Could not stop reading this story. It grabbed my attention from page 1 to the end.

Sometimes I had a hard time reading the story, but not because of anything the author did. (giggles) I had a hard time turning the pages. When I could, I really liked learning about Wales.

Oh. My. Gosh. This story had me on the edge of my seat. The way the author described everything created vivid pictures in my head!

I really felt for Cristyn. She wasn't thrilled going to Wales and then another family infiltrates. She showed strength in her treatment of the other professor's kids. Lots of growth among all the characters

While reading this book I felt as if I were exploring the past too. Like I was Cristyn. Strong writing.

This book falls under the genres: mystery, thriller, paranormal YA fiction. while trying to solve the mystery, Cristyn learns about her past and life in medieval times. It was cool to discover clues and resolutions with her.

Xyra's Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a wonderful ghost story/mystery!

Two college professors take their families to Wales over the summer to do research in their fiend of medieval history/studies. The cottage they rent is ancient and built over an even older foundation. Plus it holds secrets.

Cristyn and her dad arrive first. They get settled in shortly before the other family arrives. We get two single parent families blending together. Cristyn's mom died in and accident when she was very small; while Miranda and Dennis's parents are recently divorced. Cristyn and Miranda are two completely different personalities - Cristyn is thoughtful and diplomatic; Miranda is petulant, selfish, and rude to her brother and mother.

Cristyn is sensitive to the cottage's past as soon as they arrive. While trying to figure out what is happening, she learns a lot about her mother and her Welsh heritage.

I loved how the author meshed the present story - two families brought together for a summer by parents' work and working out difficulties (mostly with Miranda's attitude and the surprise arrival of the estranged father) - and the past (the ghost) with the work of the two parents.

A cool, creepy, ghost story. Not violent of bloody or overly suspenseful. Just perfect. Overall a fun, well written, enjoyable read.

This is an example of how to tell a good ghost story. There are ghost story books out there where the author would have said something like, "I visited this small town in Wales and spoke with the rental agent for a cottage where it has been reported one can see a flickering disturbance in the basement." and leave it at that with no background on who the ghost might be and what happened to make that spirit want to stay and seek out others.

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel gives us the story of Carwen in the many glimpses Cristyn sees and feels around the house. More information comes from her dad and Erika (the other professor). Through the parents we also get a bit of a medieval history or anthropology lesson about children born to titled parents in and out of wedlock. And here is the only spot where I think the ending is a bit weak. The greatest gift Cristyn could have given Carwen was a name and place in history by putting what they found in the museum. There could have been a twist in the stone circle where Carwen took the essence of the item that belonged to her and left the physical for the museum. Those are my musings only. I have at least one during every story I read. :-)

Once again, loved this book! The setting, history, present families. characters, etc. Just a great story!

Happy Reading!


  1. Nice find! I like this author but I have not read this one.

    1. Planning to send it to Sister Stereo, but can lend it to you first. :)