Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce, #1)” as Want to Read:
Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,808 Ratings  ·  399 Reviews
Ever since her father died, quirky Gilda Joyce has been working hard to sharpen her psychic skills. She's determined to communicate with spirits from the Other Side and become a crack investigator of spooky, twisted mysteries. After wrangling an invitation to visit relatives in San Francisco, Gilda discovers that her dreary, tight-lipped uncle and his strange, delicate dau ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 23rd 2006 by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Gilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonThe Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt
Fave Juvenile Mysteries
1st out of 43 books — 28 voters
The Westing Game by Ellen RaskinFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsburgThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian SelznickEncyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective by Donald J. SobolHarriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Best Mysteries for Young Readers
33rd out of 198 books — 309 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 27, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it
It is a cute book about a young girl who spends her summer trying to be a (wait for it...) psychic detective. It's a nice piece of YA, with a few particularly compelling parts. One is Gilda herself who is a fabulous character - up for anything, willing to be weird, more obsessed with her future career that with boys, etc. The other is the way that Allison handles Gilda's father's death. She doesn't shy away from the pain and loss Gilda feels, but it isn't one of those emotionally manipulative te ...more
This was a book in the memorial section of my library, I work in a K-5 building, so I picked it up for some middle reader fun, and fun it was. Glida reminds me of me in Junior High, I spent all my time writing scary stories and thought I'd end up solving mysteries when I grew up, instead I just ended up reading about mysteries as a Librarian, haha. Some of my parents might have issues with some of the language in this book (hell twice, bitchy) as I work with 5th graders as my highest grade....AR ...more
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
Mar 28, 2012 Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri} rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, library
Gilda Joyce is a good easy, weekend read. Fast paced and entertaining, it may not be very though provoking but it's good all the same.
Je Taews
Nov 11, 2015 Je Taews rated it really liked it
เอาไป 4 กอน อานมาครึงเลมแลวหยุดอานชักงง ขอกลับไปอานใหมอีกรอบ... ...more
May 23, 2016 Aya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Gilda mě uchvátila a vsadím se, že kdybych tuhle knížku četla před nějakými patnácti, osmnácti lety, byla by mou hrdinkou a vzorem (a taky bych se možná stala parapsychologickou vyšetřovatelkou).

Příběh beru takový, jaký je, tedy napsaný pro dívky školou povinné, a z tohoto pohledu jsem ochotná odpustit i drobné nepřesnosti, jako například v chování rodičů, které je spíše přizpůsobeno plynulosti příběhu než reálnému životu.

Gildě je třináct, ale je zatraceně chytrá (tyhle holky mám ráda, třeba Els
Aila N
Jan 28, 2015 Aila N rated it liked it
This is a small summary about the book, Gilda Joyce Psychic Investigator. Gilda Joyce is determined to solve a mystery, ever since her father died in cancer. But the opportunity doesn't come right to her. But one day during school, she lied to everyone that she was going to San Francisco during summer. She eventually found out that her mother's long lost cousin lived in San Francisco with his daughter, and so she made a letter to Mr. Splinter inviting herself to San Francisco, but the letter was ...more
Sep 26, 2014 Christina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone of all ages, especially those who want to feel suspense and creeped out!
Shelves: favorites
Quirky 14 year-old Gilda Joyce has been obsessed with the paranormal ever since her father passed away from cancer when she was twelve. In his will, he left her his cherished typewriter, and she believes that her father’s spirit will carry on whenever she uses her typewriter. Shortly after her father died, she found a book about being a psychic in a yard sale, and believing that she could reach her father somehow, decided to launch her own business as a psychic investigator.

Her first case comes
Andrea Dorothy
Oct 24, 2013 Andrea Dorothy rated it liked it
I loved the writing of this book, and I enjoyed the two main characters.
BUT the mystery was never solved. And Gilda is not psychic!

I thought a lot of the subject matter was inappropriate for children. "Porno websites," "Playboy," ouija boards and seances (which are expected with the book title), some questionable language (hell, bitchy) and a loving mother who smokes in the car with her 13 year old daughter.

Most importantly was the way the book dealt with suicide and mental illness.

The second
Aug 31, 2014 Caitlin rated it liked it
Don't be misled by the childish cover. I think that a disservice was done to this book by choosing that image to represent it.
This was a cute book. The characters were great. The mystery and suspense was thrilling and fun. The idea that she saw herself as a psychic investigator added a lot of humor to the mix. I love books about old houses, creepy deceased family members, and family secrets. This was definitely a fun, easy read!
Mar 28, 2015 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read for a teen (13-15) girl looking for a female role, supernatural story lines, and very little romance. Not to mention it's a great way to get someone interested in journalism/blogging.
GingerQueen~ Almost~Voldemorts~Twin
I read this in 5th grade maybe, and oh boy, this book scared the hell out of me!!!
Mar 17, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
Gilda Joyce is a fourteen year old psychic investigator, or at least she thinks that she is. Gilda lives with her mother, and older brother. Gilda 19s father 19s death from cancer is what made Gilda want to communicate with the dead. All her classmates are doing amazing things over the summer, so Gilda writes a letter to a long lost cousin, Mr. Splinter, inviting herself over to his mansion in San Francisco for the summer. Summer, who works for Mr. Splinter, writes back to the letter, allowing G ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle grade readers
I borrowed this book with the idea that our oldest might like it, but she never really got into it. Her biggest complaint is that it wasn't very realistic, for a realistic fiction story.

I decided to borrow the audio CD and listen to it while driving around town. Jessica Almasy's narration is terrific and I love how she changes the voices. Summer's voice sounds a bit too much like a 1980's Valley Girl, but I don't live in San Francisco, so what do I know?

In any case, I thought the story was enga
Jan 07, 2016 Loulou rated it really liked it
Gilda Joyce is thirteen years old and thinks she is a psychic detective. She lives in Detroit, Michigan, with her mother and brother but does not have a good relationship with either one. She is sad over her father's death from cancer two years ago and tries to understand it. He had given her a typewriter which she holds on to it very closely. Gilda wants to have an interesting summer and so she goes to visit her uncle, Mr Splinter, and her cousin, Juliet, in their victorian mansion in San Franc ...more
Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison is the beginning of a series featuring a teenage psychic, who would need to use the dictionary to find the definition of the word “modesty”. Gilda’s fond memories of the book Harriet the Spy causes her to dress oddly and go forth to spy upon her neighbors. To avoid admitting that she has no exciting things planned for summer vacation, Gilda announces that she will travel to California to visit relatives. The relative in question does not know ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Shayla rated it really liked it
The first time I read this book was about 6 years ago. Crazy how time flies. The Gilda Joyce series is one of my favorites. It's one of my "originals", i.e a series that I grew up with where I read the books over and over between the end of elementary school and the beginning of high school.

So now that you know how totally biased I am, let me just say that I loved this book and I'm only giving it 4 stars because I like the later books more and will be giving them 5 stars once I reread them.

Dec 17, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio, juvenile, 2014
While I enjoyed this story for the most part (a 13 year old goes to visit relatives who live in an old rambling Victorian house in San Francisco hears mysterious sounds and detects ghostly images), the main character, Gilda, eventually got on my nerves. The parts that were good were the descriptions of the old house, the disguises she uses, the personalities of the other characters. What was not good was the personal nature of the case and how Gilda went about solving it.

She is a very precocious
Alani M.
May 23, 2016 Alani M. rated it really liked it
Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison. One strength of this book is that it is very intriguing and slightly scary if read right before bed. Not enjoyable for easy bed wetters, and very enjoyable for mystery lovers. Gilda Joyce is a psychic investigator. She is sure of it. But sometimes she just can’t help but spy on people and lie to get out of the trouble of spying, because if her mom found out, that would be the end. So really, it wasn’t her fault when she shouted out to her en ...more
Richard Due
Feb 05, 2015 Richard Due rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I can't remember reading anything else quite like it. When it comes time for the mystery to finally unwind, Allison cranks it into overdrive, revealing the bigger story (and how it relates to the characters)--like the blooming of a beautiful flower. I can't wait the read the next book in the series.
Gilda Joyce is a treat.

Now I understand why my daughter loves this series so much.
Sarah Crawford
Feb 01, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is cute story about two girls. Gilda is 13. Her father is dead. She's a very intelligent and very imaginative girl who loves to write, and is very interested in psychic things.

The other girl is also thirteen. She's Juliet, and lives in San Francisco in a Victorian-type mansion with a mysterious tower.

Through some imaginative stretching of the truth, Gilda manages to get an invitation to live with a while for Juliet for a while. Juliet has very dark moods. Her housekeeper sees ghosts about
Jun 02, 2015 Carson rated it it was amazing
I adored this book and loved how Gilda Joyce didn't care what people thought of her. I feel like there are not a lot of fictional female characters still in books that can let girls know they can be smart and adventurous.
Gilda Joyce as a character is who I would have loved to be best friends with as a kid. I always wanted a typewriter and Nancy Drew has a lawyer dad. Which would you pick?

I would say that if you have a child who is an advanced reader, maybe hand them a different book in the ser
Sep 01, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok
Middle-schooler book, I'd say...except for some language. Not sure that had a place here, esp w/the audience level.

Gilda purports to be a psychic investigator, but even she knows she's not there (yet? I believe this is the start to a series). She had a bit of an adventure, inviting herself to stay with some long-lost relatives in California. She gains a friend in the process, continues on her healing journey from her dad's death, and continues to work on being a psychic/writer. I'd advise her to
Jun 20, 2014 Lucinda rated it really liked it
As of not reading very many psychic books, I thought it was kinda fun but a little hesitant scary. (Yes, I'm a Christian, and my parents didn't agree to these books when I was younger).
I was very surprised at the language, there was a few choice of words that surprised they were in the book. Maybe kids hear them all the time at public school, but it would be hard for me to suggest this book to anther reader because of the few bad language, (exclamation, and name calling a girl)
The author could v
You May
May 19, 2014 You May rated it liked it
I read this a long time ago when I was still in junior high but I remember it was interesting enough for me to keep me going with a bit of romance, but I wasn't interested in romance back then. Since now I am all about crazy overprotective boyfriends I can't judge the book correctly. However if I remember correctly it was a good enough book comapred to the fantasy and adventurous books I had been reading during that time. You could say it was a different genre compared to the books I had been re ...more
Theo kids
Apr 08, 2016 Theo kids rated it it was ok
Although quirky Gilda could not have been more appealing or fascinating, she wasn't enough to carry a rather meandering writing style and the lack of development of some of the most fascinating aspects of the plot. Like the actual ghosts who sip tea each night!! That would have been so interesting to delve into. Add in annoyances like the occasional bit of language or a pre-teen with suicidal thoughts, and even the compelling supernatural experiences couldn't hold my complete attention. With a b ...more
Jun 09, 2014 Pam rated it liked it
I chose to read this book based on the fact that it was presented as a mystery, but as a mystery I was disappointed. Jennifer Allison did a good job creating interesting and unique characters, and a similarly interesting setting of an old Victorian mansion. She developed the set the mood well and developed the characters and story as it progressed and therefore this novel about two girls' evolving friendship is valuable in itself. The negative is that the mystery element just fell flat. I think ...more
Dale Lowry
Aug 25, 2016 Dale Lowry rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Listened to the audiobook. Narration style got on my nerves after a while. Entertaining story, though. The style was a little weird, sometimes coming across as comedy and other times diving into the morose. Maybe the swings didn't seem so dramatic in the book version—I think I might have been influenced by the narrator's style, which was largely comedic. Gilda is a total weirdo and I liked that about her. Reminded me in some ways of myself at her age :) Three for a good read, though I probably w ...more
Natalie C.
May 13, 2014 Natalie C. rated it did not like it
This book did not overly impress me. The ghost thing was overdone, and Gilda should be admitted into a mental hospital. If you’re going to write a book about ghosts it needs to be scary and realistic. But it was just really cheesy. It didn’t go deep enough into the emotional aspects of the characters and they were only one layer thick, aka the characters all fit a single personality. Those who enjoy more simple writings may like this but if your standards are higher, aim higher. I will not be co ...more
This is the story of a unique young girl named Gilda. She has lost her Father to cancer and her Mother is hardly ever around because of working so much to make ends meet. Her brother Stephen is pretty much useless to her now, even though they used to be great friends. Gilda has taken up some odd hobbies....aka professions in her mind. She is a spy, mostly on Mr. Plaid Pants at the gas station; she just knows he is up to something, always wearing the same clothes and all. She also fancies herself ...more
Gilda Joyce is 13 years old and lives in Michigan with her mother and older brother. Gilda's father died a few years ago and ever since then she has been trying to learn to communicate with the spirit world.

Gilda is determined to become a psychic investigator and she remembers that her mother's cousin's sister died by jumping out of a window, Gilda decides that should be her first case.

Before Gilda knows it she is on her way to San Francisco for the summer and hopefully to solve her very first
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: SOLVED. A girl is either a psychic or like a medium she uses a typerwiter alot preforms a seance [s] 10 50 Jun 03, 2014 07:44PM  
What did you think did she commit suiced, she fell, or was she killed? 4 23 Nov 16, 2013 10:31AM  
test 1 1 6 Dec 05, 2011 10:40AM  
test 1 1 2 Dec 05, 2011 10:40AM  
First Entry-Why I chose this book 2 5 Dec 02, 2011 04:49AM  
Gilda Joyce 6 30 Jun 24, 2009 05:37AM  
  • Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things (Sammy Keyes, #11)
  • Behind the Curtain (Echo Falls, #2)
  • The Ring of Rocamadour (The Red Blazer Girls, #1)
  • The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Kari + Lucas Mysteries, #1)
  • Shakespeare's Secret
  • May Bird and the Ever After (May Bird, #1)
  • I So Don't Do Mysteries
  • The Case of the Left-Handed Lady (Enola Holmes, #2)
  • The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls
  • The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen #1)
  • Annie's Adventures (Sisters Eight, #1)
Jennifer Allison is the author of the Edgar-nominated GILDA JOYCE: PSYCHIC INVESTIGATOR mystery series for readers age nine and up ( The first book in her new series, IGGY LOOMIS: SUPERKID IN TRAINING (, focuses on the sometimes stormy relationship between two brothers -- Daniel and his younger brother Iggy, who mysteriously develops strange superpowers. IGGY ...more
More about Jennifer Allison...

Other Books in the Series

Gilda Joyce (5 books)
  • Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake (Gilda Joyce, #2)
  • Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata  (Gilda Joyce, #3)
  • Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop (Gilda Joyce, #4)
  • Gilda Joyce: The Bones of the Holy  (Gilda Joyce, #5)

Share This Book

“I can see why some people become “beach bunnies”: you don’t have to think about things or even talk when you’re on the beach. You just sit here and feel good about being alive.” 0 likes
More quotes…