#20 - Real estate problems
I liked Weatherend for its genuinely creepy atmosphere and life-or-death struggle founded in eldritch lore successfully contrasted with the cozily oblivious goings-on in the heroes' small town, plus Anthony's cross-generational friendship with the steely, proactive Miss Eells. Unfortunately, Mansion leaves the sleuthing mostly up to Miss Eells's brother, who is kind of too all-knowing and short on character to be a compelling protagonist and whose time in the limelight robs the reader of the Eells-Anthony friendship that drove their debut book. The threat of the cultists is kind of generic and ill-defined, and it's kind of hard to believe Anthony would find weeks on the tiny island, with little to explore and nothing to do but fish and play cards, invigorating. Reviews indicate that Mansion suffered from coming at the end of Bellairs' illustrious career, and it is indeed the last installment in its series; I suppose that I'll have to hunt down Anthony's other two books to find a successful follow-up to Weatherend.