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The Second Spy

(The Books of Elsewhere #3)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,771 ratings  ·  114 reviews
In Olive's third adventure, what lurks below the house could be as dangerous as what's hidden inside . . .

Some terrifying things have happened to Olive in the old stone house, but none as scary as starting junior high. Or so she thinks. When she plummets through a hole in her backyard, though, she realizes two things that may change her mind: First, the wicked Annabelle Mc
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Dial
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,771 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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Sue Moro
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Book three was my favorite in the series so far! This series gets better and better with each book. I've already downloaded and begun listening to book four.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fantasy
This is one of those series that gathers steam as it goes, starting out interesting enough, but developing more "oomph" with each entry. This was definitely my favorite one so far. In addition to getting better, the series is also getting definitely creepier, in a pleasant, spine-tingling, look-under-your-bed sort of way (fun, but not too definitely scary to its target age).
Olive Dunwoody is still living in a large, forbidding stone house built by an evil painter/magician that is obviously tryin
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
WOW can West write a cliff hanger! These books are so awesome, so well written, it doesn't matter they were written for people almost half my age. I need book 4 now!
Steph Lovelady
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm still enjoying this series, but I didn't like this one quite as much as the first two. Hard to say exactly why. Maybe having the school year start split the focus between what was going on at Olive's new school and her haunted house, and I preferred the focus on the house. The art teacher is an interesting new character. I'm trusting she'll become important later, or else she's just an eccentric distraction.

The book ends on an intriguing cliffhanger...
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another fantastic installment in the Books of Elsewhere series!! My kids and I can’t get enough! Thank goodness we already have books 4 & 5 ready and waiting to devour- we don’t want to wait to find out what happens next!
Jan 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Percy Jackson, early years of Harry Potter
3.5 stars.

We join Olive as she steps into the harrowing halls of junior high, and I would be fine if we hadn't. Part of the magic of these books was the charming seclusion from the rest of the modern world, so it was jarring to read about a girl Olive's age wearing eyeliner. (Really, I have no idea why this particular detail threw me off.) I don't think these books can transition successfully into teenager-land (like, say, the Harry Potter series), but I'm willing to suspend judgment until at le
One of my favorite middle grade series! :) & my first book read in 2016! :)

I absolutely love "the books of elsewhere". These are a perfect choice for fans of "Alice in wonderland." And "Coraline" I'd definitely give this series to a young reluctant reader.

The writing style is beautiful & I absolutely love the characters. Olive is a great main character, the cats are hilarious, the art teacher is great, & Morton is such a cute little boy. But my favorite is ruthford. He's so wonderf
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: slmta
I had problems with this book because of the cats and the simple story line.
Odd things are happening at the old Victorian house where Olive lives. Olive and her friend, Morton, discover that the evil (and dead) Annabelle McMartin can create havoc outside the house, too.
Martin is the only one who know the secret—and her only friend in junior high. Once again filled with talking cats, paintings that come alive, and nefarious goings-on, this light fantasy/mystery will be a go book for reluctant re
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book picked up the pace nicely (book two was a little lacking) and I felt it was more unsettling/creepy than the previous book, which I loved. We have Olive struggling with trust and self-doubt again, lending believability to her character and the storyline. As usual, I don't think there are enough illustrations - they're great and I want more!
Feb 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I struggled with this book so much. I wanted to enjoy it and I had been looking forward to reading it, but it felt like crawling instead of a fun brisk walk. I skimmed a lot. It picked up towards the end, which I did enjoy. I am hoping the fourth book will have some neat stuff in it now that we know a few more things.
Kristie J.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Olive starts junior high (6th grade) in this book. I like the way she's a loner, making her way through school the best she can. Luckily, Rutherford is in the same grade and they can eat lunch together, until they have a falling out because he keeps a secret from her. I kept waiting for a "second spy" to emerge, based on the book's title, but this was not really explained until near the end. Still a great series. Couldn't stop listening to the audiobook. The only part I didn't like was in the fi ...more
Bebe Phramthong
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elsewhere is a great book. And l love to read the Elsewhere novels The Second Spy is a book all about finding Morton's parents. But Olive needed Morton to tell Olive his parents names. Olive has been trying to find Morton's parents, Olive had made a deal with Morton, the deal is that Olive only has 3 months to find Morton's parents if not Olive must let Morton borrow the spectacles and Morton must go back and live in the picture not with Lucinda Niven Morton's sister. Can Olive make it or do the ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
This series reads well. The story is engaging and once the action picks up it moves well. It feels a little dark for younger readers kind of creepy in a lot of ways, but the author does a good job. I do find it a little frustrating in that the main character continues to make mistakes that could be avoided but thinks "I want to do this, it seems like a bad idea and every else will try to stop me, but i'll be ok" again and again... All in all a decent read, but be aware it may be a little creepy ...more
Rick Stuckwisch
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is really a delightful series, and I'm enjoying each of the books far more than I would have guessed or anticipated. The characters are charming and endearing, and the story is actually quite interesting. I love the way it gently comments and reflects upon family and friendship, loyalty and love. Looking forward to continuing the series with books 4 and 5.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just love this little series. It's the first series K has been excited about. We are all reading it together so we can talk about it. K already started book 4 and I can't wait to start it too. It's as magical as Harry Potter but not as long!
Kevin Zwiefelhofer
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
The series is loosing a little steam but I am committed now.
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Something is lurking below the house, and Olive has to figure what it is, before it's too late. I loved this book and it is a must read.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm loving this series! It's seriously a great one to read with my kids!
Sriya Mudumba
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love it! It's so creepy.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book three. I do like these books. Olive is learning a lot, and growing up.
Anna Pineapple
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Needs less suspension. And more characters.
Rosyel Sawali
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just love the twists and turns of this book. The plot thickens and it seems the story arch gets darker. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Fun and spooky; eager to see how the series will end.
She's Stacked  (Jo-Anne)
Just some observations...Olive, although she doesn't realise it (nor does the reader), is a typical only child - expecting her own way, never listening to the word "no", ni understanding of patience and prone to petulance and self-pity. That said, she is a good person. She does not act out of malice but a misguided sense of good. She doesn't want to hurt anyone but can get muddled in the details, often muddied by all her issues from being the daughter of brilliant and very structured parents.

Jessica Harrison
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read full review and author interview at Cracking the Cover

Author Jacqueline West knows how to set a scene. As soon as you open her books, you are transported to a vivid world of mystery and suspense that feels both familiar and foreign at the same time. Not only does the McMartin mansion come to life, but so to does the world of Elsewhere. There’s great use of imagery that pushes the story forward in an unobtrusive, yet very necessary way.

As Olive has matured, so has Jacqueline. “The Second Spy
Oct 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cat lovers, fantasy enthusiasts, those who appreciate good children's books
Shelves: fantasy
The Second Spy, the third novel in The Books of Elsewhere series features Olive once again determined to help free her friend Morton from the painting he is trapped in while at the same time trying to stay out of harms way from the former owner of her home. I love the way Jacqueline West writes and have a special fondness of her main character Olive. I love that Olive has branched out from home to include scenes at junior high and can see this expanding in the next book. Olives relationship with ...more
3.5 stars.

Really good. So imaginative and original. I'd forgotten how much I loved this series.

Olive is a lovely main character with nothing to make me want to throttle/slap her.

Morton is adorable and just makes me want to hug him and make his life better.

Harvey/Captain Blackpaw/Agent 1-800/Sir Lancelot/that other personality I can't remember right now is the best. I. WANT. HIM.

Rutherford. I'm warming up to him. (view spoiler)

Horatio. I was so conce
Jasmine Rose
The Second Spy was sadly not as good as I'd hoped it would be. I loved the first two books in the Books of Elsewhere series, but this one just didn't quite work for me.

It's certainly possible that my mood colored my judgement. I thought I was in the mood for a middle grade, but I found it difficult to connect with Olive and her troubles. I found myself getting really annoyed when Olive continued to hold onto her anger about Rutherford moving. I can see why she felt that way, but it annoyed me no
Jun 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
The extremely slow one where almost nothing new happens and plot points are repeated.

(view spoiler)
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
Another great installment in the Elsewhere series! Olive is as clueless as ever lol, honestly you'd think that she'd learn from her mistakes by now. Oh well I guess that's where our favorite feline trio Horatio, Leopold and Harvey step in... I think they're the heart of the story! Rutherford is another character that makes the story a joy to read, he's so funny and eccentric and a really good friend to Olive. Even though they are minor characters, I also liked reading the scenes with Olive's wac ...more
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The Books of Elsewhere (5 books)
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“It's been my experience that those people who seem the most 'normal' are in fact the most dangerous.” 9 likes
“She had other friends--friends that wouldn't leave her. She had the cats.” 2 likes
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