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Fairday Morrow #1

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow

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Fear Not the Unexpected.

Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow is less than thrilled that her family is moving thousands of miles from civilization to the quiet country town of Ashpot, Connecticut, where she’s absolutely certain she’ll die of boredom.

As if leaving New York City and her best friend, Lizzy, the only other member of the elite Detective Mystery Squad (DMS), weren’t bad enough, Fairday is stuck living in the infamous Begonia House, a creepy old Victorian with dark passageways, a gigantic dead willow tree, and a mysterious past.

Before she can even unpack, strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where an ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that takes the members of the Detective Mystery Squad on an amazing adventure.

263 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2011

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About the author

Jessica Haight

3 books135 followers
Jessica is a true New Englander, with a deep desire to be near the ocean and a love of the four seasons. She enjoys drawing while standing up and cultivating magic in her garden. She easily floats away in the pages of a good story and is still waiting for her owl from Hogwarts. Jessica lives in Connecticut with her charming fiancé, James.

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5 stars
84 (43%)
4 stars
62 (32%)
3 stars
35 (18%)
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9 (4%)
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3 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,226 followers
June 24, 2017

Please make a movie out of this one.

Fairday Morrow. A queer name!

Meet our protagonist. She's thin and long and just an average teenage girl. She's sincere and has a littler sibling too when the parents decide to move away to a mansion that is believed to be troubled.

It was like Goosebumps : Welcome to the Dead House all over again for me in the beginning.
There are creepy things happening in the story and in the house. Some one is not happy with the new innocuous family. He/she/it feels their presence unwelcoming.

Hey, did I tell you that Fairday is also super smart.

The creepiness might have risen the hairs on her neck but she is not the one to give it up without a proper investigation.

She hears bagpipes playing in the room upstairs but how could they when there is dirt all over them. There is also someone with brilliant red shoes lurking somewhere behind the curtains. There is scariness branded all over the balcony overlooking the willow.

The sparkling red shoes and the witch which appears in the magical mirror have got a thing or two to tell. And Fairday decides to get to the core of the matter.

When her baby sister and pet Aunt Em (yep, that's her dog, told you this book was a riot) are taken away to the other side of the mirror, Fairday needs the help of the elite DMS sqaud. Lizzy and Rocket are up for a collaborative work that takes them through centuries in time and unseen evils all at once.

Plot, writing style and characters are blended to perfection

The plot and the writing style are in real compliment with each other. The characters of Fairday and her two friends is carved to make you believe the story. High school anecdotes are supplied aptly and in right places.

The authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson do a splendid job in sketching the story out real well. The creep you with fear, enthrall you with the mystery and make you adore the cuteness of all of it.

The Bohemian pieces of scene art by Roman Muradov that appears like flashes between the story add a distinct flavor to this book without which the story would be missing its heart.

One-man-jury's verdict :

The book is a delicacy of a fairy tale whose pages you ought to savor.

Does not miss a beat.
Profile Image for Bobby Underwood.
Author 100 books257 followers
April 30, 2017
This is just a terrific find for middle school age children. Authors Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson have done a wonderful job of capturing what it is like to be this age, and the illustrations of Roman Muradov add a quirky sense of fun to everything which happens in the book.

Leaving Manhattan to move to Connecticut, and move into Begonia House, is bad enough for Fairday Morrow, but breaking up the other half of the Detective Mystery Squad — DMS — by separating her and her best friend Lizzy is the worst! But there are secrets surrounding the old Victorian mansion, and by the time Lizzy comes to visit, there’s a real mystery to solve. Before we arrive there, however, the authors have given us a warm look at this age which will ring true for children. Sprinkled throughout are gentle and unobtrusive life lessons, and a charming tone which harkens back to mystery books for children of yesteryear. Being happy with yourself — your weight, your quirks — is one of them.

How could Fairday have heard those bagpipes playing, when they’re dusty and unused? A sparkling, high-heeled sneaker, flower petals, blueprints which may be more than a house schematic, an old gypsy-looking woman, and a diary hold the key. But most important — and dangerous — is that strange mirror. Fairday discovers early on just how dangerous it can be during an incident involving her little sister. But it is her dog, Aunt Em, which will lead to the greatest — and most dangerous — aspect of the case for the DMS crew, which now includes the Rocket — otherwise known as Marcus.

The story has charm, warmth, excitement and danger. The conclusion promises more adventures, and those who read this will be itching to get their hands on the next. This is, however, more a magical mystery than a traditional mystery for young children, and that brings me to a very minor caveat. I want to emphasize this is an adult caveat which has nothing to do with how much middle school age children will love this. Because I’ve rated this five stars for the audience at which it is aimed, my next comments are more a side note, an adult’s reaction.

I want to emphasize once again that this is an adult quibble, and as such, is to be taken in that context. Despite the book description, this sounded more like an old-fashioned book of mystery for children. As an adult reading this, however, I felt let down after the first quarter of the book. There was a sense of warmth and fun, even nostalgia, for Fairway and Lizzy, and the boy on the horizon who might become a part of the DMS crew and help solve the mystery of the house. The gentle life lessons woven so deftly into the narrative, the funny and very true-to-life moments of being the new kid in school, gave this story charm and promise. Then came the magic mirror. And it got a tad real. And I sighed.

Though I too really enjoyed Harry Potter, that series was something very unique. One of the unfortunate side effects of its massive success, however, is that so many books for children, even for middle school age, now seem to automatically go in this direction. In this case, because these authors were so good, they didn’t have to. If they would have continued in the same manner as the first quarter of the narrative, this would have been just as wonderful, and DMS could have maintained its supposed meaning of Detective Mystery Squad. But as it became Detective Magic Squad, the charm and warmth of the first quarter was gradually eroded, almost disappearing beneath the magic and a bit of real violence. In the end, it is discovered that a very real murder in the past was caused by magic means.

Children will gobble this up, lost in the fun and the mystery, never realizing what might have been. But as an adult I was aware of the change in tone. Even in this age of Harry Potter, which was wonderful in many ways — though much more adult than often mentioned — there are still parents who might balk at this type of element in their child’s reading material, so they might want to take a look first before deciding. Most parents, however, will find it quite tame, offset by the warmth and charm of the story and characters. Fairday’s interactions with her dad, especially, are very nice. Most children from 8-12 — and those skirting either side of those numbers — are certain to embrace Fairday and this book with open arms. They’ll be looking eagerly forward to the next adventure.

Overall, this is a wonderful read for middle school age children these authors have penned. It’s warm and lively, and has some slice-of-life as a kid moments. They’ll be enthralled by Fairday, Lizzy and Marcus’s first mystery in Fairday’s new home. I’m glad I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, and very pleased that I got to read it. Great stuff for kids!
Profile Image for Karen Toz.
Author 17 books322 followers
January 29, 2013
This book was so great, I honestly don't even know where to start! So let me try to break it down - the story itself had me hooked from the first page. It starts with a news article where we learn about a mysterious death which took place many years ago. Fast forward to the present, and the Morrow family is about to move into the Begonia House. A house that has not had any occupants since this mysterious death. While many kids might be spooked out by the prospect of a haunted house, young Fairday Morrow sees it as just another day for the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad.) With the help of best friend, Lizzy, classmate Marcus, and even little sister Margo - the team is able to unravel the mysteries woven into (and behind) the walls of the the Begonia House.

Authors/Illustrators Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson do an amazing job of creating this wonderful world of the DMS. The illustrations are fabulous and really add to the story. I especially love that the ending hints that the DMS may have another assignment coming (hopefully soon.) Middle grade children and their parents will love this book! I couldn't put it down!
Profile Image for Rayene Ziadi.
394 reviews109 followers
June 29, 2021
I got this book in a goodreads giveaway for my honest opinion. so here it goes:
At first, I (regrettably) judged this book for being middlegrade and thought i'd catch up to the mystery in no time, making the rest dull BUT i couldn't be more wrong!
The first few chapters were enticing but no sooner than Margo went into -You know what- that i was hooked; my mind was buzzing the whole time with possible outcomes to the story and i was guessing left and right!
It was such and intriguing book; a tad bit spooky and downright awesome; the plot was creative, the characters were vibrant and it was so fun to read from Fairday's POV.
It was a short but amazing read and i would definitely recommend it to anyone looking something light and fun ♥
Profile Image for Darinda.
8,062 reviews144 followers
May 27, 2018
Fairday Morrow and her family move to Ashpot, Connecticut, where her parents hope to open a bed and breakfast. As Fairday explores her new home, she discovers there is a mystery to solve. Along with her best friend, Lizzy, and new friend, Marcus, the kids investigate the mystery of Fairday's new home.

A middle grade supernatural mystery. Fun and exciting. While the story is somewhat spooky with the supernatural aspect, it is not scary. The kids are confident, bold, and clever. Great traits in young characters.

I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Trina (aNovelReader).
176 reviews26 followers
September 18, 2017
What a suspenseful and entertaining mystery. I quickly fell in love with Ms. Fairday Morrow and her Detective Mystery Squad. I found myself reminiscing about my middle school years and thinking the DMS series would be one of my favorites.

Fairday's family is moving from Manhattan to the infamous Begonia House in Ashpot, Connecticut, to open a Bed & Breakfast. During renovations, Fairday is allowed to investigate the house and see what mysteries she can uncover. It turns out the Begonia House has many secrets and hasn't been lived in for 57 years. Upon moving in, Fairday discovers padlocked doors, mysterious music and a spiral staircase that leads to secret rooms. Perfect for a keen sleuth like Fairday. However, she quickly finds more clues than she and fellow investigator, Lizzie, can handle so they recruit a new member to help solve the mystery. The pace quickens at the end as time is running out for the DMS when they get stuck in a very precarious situation.

This story had all the makings of a great mystery: a haunted house, spooky characters, secret rooms, disappearances, encrypted maps, magical spells and resourceful middle-grade investigators to solve the case.

The authors did a great job of addressing bullying and showing kids creative ways to confront it and rise above it. I also loved Fairday's father, a former English teacher, who always threw new words at her to improve her vocabulary. An innovative way to introduce new words in a memorable format.

I would highly recommend this book and look forward to the next Fairday Morrow adventure.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
714 reviews12 followers
December 24, 2016
4.5 stars.
When I won this, I wasn't expecting this to be so good. It took me a few chapters to get into this but the plot and the mystery was perfect for me. I loved the characters and the DMS! This actually made me feel scared for the characters and I had to finish once I got into the story. I was holding my breath when Phew! The characters came alive for me and I'm really glad I won this! One more thing- this has made me want to reread 'The Wizard of Oz' and I loved Overall, this was an amazing book that I enjoyed and I hope there are more books!
Profile Image for Brenda.
832 reviews35 followers
March 2, 2016
Originally posted at Log Cabin Library
The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow begins with Thurston Begonia taking a 30 foot fall from the third floor balcony of Begonia House. The details of his death, according to the news article at the beginning of the book, are still a mystery. Then things move forward to Fairday and her family moving into the Begonia House, which they have purchased and plan to make into a bed and breakfast. Ok, I'm hooked. I love old houses, the kind with a porch, attic, spiraling staircase, bay windows, a couple of towers or turrets. I envision a parlor with a fireplace that is cozy and inviting. But, I also want a house to hold some mysteries, have some hidden panels or walkways, rooms that require a special key to open. Check, check and check. Begonia House seems to have all of these things, it's creepy and mysterious, but not scary. I really liked the way that the authors introduce the reader to Begonia House, and exploring each of the rooms as Fairday is seeing them. There is some mystery as to whether the house is haunted or not, mysterious sounds of bagpipes coming from one of the rooms and padlocks on one of the doors. It just adds to the suspense and eeriness of the house. As a child I would have really enjoyed the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad), and the cool DMS pack they use to solve their mysteries, containing a headlamp, binoculars, camera and note book to catalog clues. I always wanted to be an amateur sleuth like Nancy Drew. There is also a really great relationship between Fairday and Lizzy (founding members of DMS), but I liked that they choose to include Marcus, he seems to round out the team, plus his dad being an FBI agent might come in handy. Even Mr. Lovell and Fairday's parents are wonderful additions to the story. However, Fairday really shines in this book, she has a perfect response to standing up to a bully and just love the friendships that develop, it's something that I see carrying over into the next book, which I hope there is one.

Favorite line "Time spent with others is more valuable than an eternity alone."
Author 0 books248 followers
August 2, 2020
Super thrilled to have read this!

Terrific writing!

I’ve not read many horror stories and this book is one of my firsts. What more? It’s engrossing, absorbing and scarier than I thought.

Far from the city, you get to know about the becoming of a haunted house. Mysterious death scenes make you move forward with the pages. The arrival of Morrow family into the same house gives the readers a sudden hiccup. Thanks to the courageous and curious Fairday Morrow, who isn’t afraid of anything, that we are ready to explore the house and the mysteries that neighbor it.

If the narration is a bonus, then the illustrations are a double bonus. Needless to say, the authors did a wonderful job in haunting, thrilling and entertaining their young readers.

Highly recommended to middle grades and their parents. (or anyone in love with horror mystery stories!)
Profile Image for Stephanie Faris.
Author 13 books90 followers
May 10, 2015
This book has everything I love in a book .It combines the spookiness of the supernatural with the suspense of a story about child detectives. I love Fairday Morrow. She's so courageous while also being realistic. The supernatural scenes are scary without being too scary for young readers. It's the perfect tween book! We'll be seeing much more of these super-talented authors in the future!
Profile Image for Crowinator.
806 reviews353 followers
September 24, 2015
I enjoyed this quirky paranormal mystery and love the illustrations. It'll be an easy one to recommend to the upper elementary and middle school kids at the library who want something spooky but not violent.
Profile Image for Susan.
220 reviews10 followers
February 22, 2012
I fell in love with the characters in this book from page one. Fairday and her family are unique, entertaining, and completely believable. I enjoyed getting to know Fairday, her family, Lizzy and the kids in Fairday's new school. The mystery and suspense is perfect for young readers (and even older ones like me). The writing flows and I never had to re-read or pause to figure out what was going on. I love that the story is easy to read and understand and yet written in such a way that kids ages 10 through teen will enjoy the story, the characters and the adventure. I am anxious to see what happens next! The story ends perfectly with a mystery solved, yet with more adventure and mystery yet to come! Excellent job Jess and Stephanie! A definite 4.5 stars from this book lover!

I highly recommend you give this book a try - as I've found out from the blog, this is the first book of a series of five. I can't wait to read the next mystery solved by the DMS team!

*I received a free paperback copy of this book from the author for this review. All my reviews are my personal, honest opinion. See my Policy & Disclosure page on my blog for more info: http://lovez2read.blogspot.com/p/revi...
Profile Image for Mary.
108 reviews
March 5, 2012
Eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow has low expectations when her parents decide to move from Manhattan to Ashpot, Connecticut--all because her mom feels that some renovating a nasty old house will boost her design career. For a budding detective, however, the old Begonia House proves to be a goldmine. Fairday immediately finds herself immersed in the old mysteries of the home. With her sidekick, best friend, and fellow DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) member, Lizzy, plus new recruit Marcus, Fairday sets out to discover the secrets of the padlocked room on the third floor and what it might have to do with the possible murder of the previous owner and the disappearance of his daughter on her wedding day--twenty years before that!

Young readers will devour this book, which has all the ingredients insatiable bibliovores seek out: a creepy old house, mysterious rooms and sinister furniture, ancient secrets, scary portraits with moving eyes, magic, curses, clues, intrepid characters, silly parents, and much more! The fast pace and action keep the pages flying and there's plenty of thrills along the way. Highly recommended for those who dare--ages 8 & up.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews85 followers
March 19, 2012
It is beautifully written and delightfully engaging.  The story is quite mysteriously mischievous and easy to follow.  Middle graders will love these characters. They are all quite interesting.  I love Fairday and her baby sister Margo.  I love her best buddy Lizzy and new friend Marcus.

And their adventure was spot on.  Fairday's family moves to a new house that is old and unique.  It has lots of hidden rooms and one amazing mirror that lead to an amazing adventure.  Some surprising adventures with an unusual pair of sparkly high heeled sneakers and a wardrobe that follows directions and the plight of the unlovely Ruby Begonia just add to the fun and adventure...oh...and a very nasty willow tree and a very mean gypsy.

I won't tell you any more...this has to be an adventure that awaits you!!!

I also loved the meal message to bullies within this book...it was done perfectly...the authors did a beautiful job!!!

This was a really cool book...I am hoping there is more for the DMS.
That would be the Detective Mystery Squad.
Profile Image for Felicity Terry.
1,095 reviews19 followers
January 7, 2013
Aimed at American middle grade readers (10 to 13 year olds), as an older, a much older reader I was surprised by just how much I found myself enjoying The Secret DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) Files of (11 year old) Fairday Morrow.

Creatively and intelligently written I found myself instantly engaged in the adventures of Fairday, Lizzy and, latest recruit, Marcus 'Brocket the Rocket'.

Delighted that the authors had such a strong and entertaining female lead in Fairday as opposed to the more typical (perhaps expected) male, though I liked all of the characters I especially liked her spirit and wonderful sense of adventure.

A wonderfully suspenseful novel, this was a real page turner of a read that whilst being totally modern had a somewhat old fashioned feel about it in that it took me back to my younger days when books were eerily scary without being overly violent or frightening ..... in other words, story telling at its best.

Looking forward to reading more of the exploits of Fairday and friends, I think this first book would make a wonderful movie.
Profile Image for Bish Denham.
Author 6 books36 followers
October 6, 2015
I've been wanting to read this for a while and was not disappointed.

Fairday Morrow is not happy about moving with her family from the city to the country. Her best friend Lizzy, and fellow mystery solver, is a whole hour away! But the minute Fairday steps into the old spooky house her parent's have bought to turn into a guest house, she knows there's a mystery to solved. Plus, it doesn't take her any time to make friends with Marcus, a boy at her new school. When Lizzy comes to visit over a week-end, the three kids are confronted with an evil willow tree, a villainous being they assume is ghost, and a house loaded with secrets. Will they be able to solve the mystery before Fairday's parents discover they've made a HUGE mistake buying the house?

There's lots of spooky action in this middle grade. Fairday, Lizzy, and Marcus each have distinct well formed personalities and does Begonia House. Even Fairday's dog, Auntie Em, is a character. I'm looking forward to reading about the further adventure of the Detective Mystery Squad
Profile Image for C. McKenzie.
Author 21 books422 followers
February 3, 2015
Ashpot, Connecticut is nothing like Manhattan--nothing at all. In Ashpot there's The Begonia House with its decades old mystery of a vanished bride and a death that has never been explained.

Fairday Morrow, Lizzy and Marcus collaborate as the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) carefully gathering and connecting the clues, hoping they'll be able to solve the mysteries of this spooky, magical place.

Kids are going to cheer on the DMS in moments of danger and downright scariness. They're going to enjoy the unstoppable, inquisitive and clever threesome as they adventure into the secrets of the Third Floor to uncover the answers no one else has been able to.

This was a fun read, and I received a copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for C. McKenzie.
Author 21 books422 followers
February 4, 2015
Ashpot, Connecticut is nothing like Manhattan--nothing at all. In Ashpot there's The Begonia House with its decades old mystery of a vanished bride and a death that has never been explained.

Fairday Morrow, Lizzy and Marcus collaborate as the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) carefully gathering and connecting the clues, hoping they'll be able to solve the mysteries of this spooky, magical place.

Kids are going to cheer on the DMS in moments of danger and downright scariness. They're going to enjoy the unstoppable, inquisitive and clever threesome as they adventure into the secrets of the Third Floor to uncover the answers no one else has been able to.

This was a fun read, and I received a copy from the authors in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kourtney.
Author 3 books240 followers
September 4, 2016
A very fun and fast read with a terrific supernatural mystery at its core. I had a blast tagging along with the DMS as they tried to figure out what was behind the strange happenings at the Begonia House. The authors did a terrific job taking a magic mirror and making it fresh and new. The lore behind the house was fascinating. Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger that kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the night. Terrific work here by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson! Hope there is more to come for Fairday and the DMS.
67 reviews6 followers
February 28, 2016
A middle grade mystery with a touch of haunting thrown in. Add some serious child detectives (DMS), detective mystery squad, and you have the makings of a great book along with the start of a good series (I hope) with a sound following. The book had me from the start and flowed along never letting the adventure wane. Well written for both boys and girls with everything they would want - mystery, adventure, a haunted house, and a great ending.
Profile Image for Donna.
427 reviews1 follower
December 10, 2012
A fantastic book for kids of all ages. This book has everything a kid could want in a story! Adventure, strange old house with eerie sounds and strange happenings, good friends, and a detective agency! The characters are delightful and entertaining.
This is a story that will be enjoyed by both boys and girls!

Hopefully, the authors will write more!
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.7k reviews360 followers
February 6, 2017
Wow. Wow. Wow, this even better than I had hoped, and I already had high hopes for this book.

Sure, there were elements I didn't expect, the magical part especially, and I was worried for a bit it might turn out to be not fitting, but oh no, the contrary happened, the magic fitted like a pair of shiny red sneakers. :P

It all starts as Fairday T Morrow (yes, that is her name, and boy I wish I had such an awesome name) moves with her parents to a new home, not that far from where she used to live, but still far enough that she can't see her friends and needs to go to a new school. Her parents are planning on making a Bed & Breakfast in the old Begonia house (I would so visit, it sounds awesome already), and thus the adventure starts right away as there is music to be heard behind a locked door. Then there is a mirror that shows another side, and boy, I just wanted to know more and more. I dove into the book, and while I could only read a bit yesterday I had some time to read it today.

I just couldn't stop reading, the book pulled me in, never releasing me until I found out what was going on in Begonia House, until I found out what happened to Ruby, to her dad, to what was in the mirror, and to find out what was going on with all the other events that seemed to happen in the house.

There is a lot of things happening, and if you thought you were done with a, b came along to drag you along with a new twist that lead to c, and then back to a again, and so we came along twists and turns and events that will make earlier events make sense.

I was a bit worried that the book would take place over a big time, as the first part of the book (up until Lizzy comes for a sleepover, no not a spoiler, she is even listed on the cover) takes about a week or so. But then the rest of the book just flies by and just a day and a night passes. I loved that, it made the book even better and I was so delighted that everything was solved in a day and a night. And no, it didn't feel hurried, not at all. It was all handled perfectly fine.

Fairday was a wonderful character, and I loved that she was so in love with books, words, mysteries. I could connect with her a lot. She was a good sister to her little sister even though at times she didn't want to have a sister. I also loved her kick-ass attitude towards bullies and how she reacted to them. I loved how determined she was, and even though she was also afraid, she kept going, not giving up.

Lizzy, my second favourite character. She was sweet, kind, and super smart. I loved how well she complimented Fairday. Whereas Fairday was good at x and y, Lizzy was good with a and b. They really made a terrific team, and I was also happy that even though the move happened they still were great friends, and still could talk so happily. Often what I see in books with characters moving is that the friendship gets damaged. But not in this one.

We also have Marcus, and I loved the guy, he was oh so fun, I was also glad that my first impression of him was, as also was proven to Fairday, a good one and it turns out that he really was a nice person.

We also have parts about the school, and it was definitely a fun addition, not only do we meet with Marcus, but we also come across some other characters that we meet again later with Lizzy (and I loved how she reacted to them).

The mystery? OMG it was just perfection, I won't spoil anything, it is quite easy to spoil things, so I will keep it to that, and also say that I was definitely creeped out by the events that happened in the house. I am already a girl who doesn't like mirrors, so imagine that someone is able to do x and y with them. NOPE.

The other characters, Dad, Mom, Margo, Larry, were all fun characters. I loved the dad how he said difficult words to expand Fairday's vocabulary and also was promoting books, and how sweet and caring and understanding he was.
Margo, I was a bit worried about her, especially when we learn of her tantrums, but in the end she was a pretty cute and friendly character.
The Mom was really sweet and I liked her for most of the book. Of course I can understand why she reacted the way she did, but then again, would she have believed her daughter?
Larry, at first he seems grumpy, but in the end he turned out to be quite a good character that also had a connection with everything.

There are also illustrations spread throughout the book, and I wouldn't have minded seeing more of them. The style fits perfect with the book, and the characters were pretty much as I expected them to be.

All in all, a perfect book with a wonderful, creepy, spooky, magical mystery that will make you look at mirrors differently, and it is a mystery that one just wants to solve. It has likeable, kind characters, beautiful illustrations. What more could one want. Highly recommended, and as for me? I am hoping that Fairday will solve more mysteries and we will be able to read all about them.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com
Profile Image for Adriana.
913 reviews69 followers
June 19, 2019
I am so happy I enjoyed this! Wonderful mystery and friendships to be had when reading this book.
Profile Image for Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*.
6,001 reviews181 followers
March 13, 2017
Haight, Jessica and Robinson, Stephanie. Ill. by Roman Muradov. The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow. Pgs. 263. Penguin Random House, 2015/ $15.99. Language: G, Mature Content: G, Violence: G

When 11-year-old, Fairday Morrow moves to Ashpot, Connecticut from Manhattan, she expects it to be dull and uninteresting. That is, until, she finds within the Begonia House, her creepy new Victorian home, with dark passageways, a dead gigantic willow tree, and lots of mysteries. Before she can finish unpacking, she starts hearing a mysterious sound coming from a padlocked door. When she manages to open it, she finds an ancient mirror, a brass key, a curious portrait of a red-haired lady, and a lot more clues to the house’s past. Teaming up with her parner Lizzie from the Detective Mystery Squad, can she and her friends solve the mystery?

This book is engaging, action-packed, and filled with mysteries. The characters are engaging, realistic, and draw the reader into the story. The interspersed illustrations are detailed and add a lot of character to the book. Fans of mysteries, detective stories, and adventures will enjoy reading this book.

EL. MS. ADVISABLE. Reviewer: Jessica M, Library Media Specialist, Olympus Jr. High.
Profile Image for Erik This Kid Reviews Books.
836 reviews70 followers
December 10, 2015
Synopsis- Fairday Morrow and her family are moving into a new house, even if Fairday doesn’t like it. It doesn’t help that their house is a supposedly haunted Victorian mansion, called the Begonia House. Apparently, there was controversy about what happened to some of the original residents. They say that the house’s builder’s daughter still haunts the house to this day. Fairday doesn’t believe. But she is curious about the mysterious red-haired lady in some old photographs. But wait – was that some mysterious person in the mirror? Fairday just shrugs it off. Next came the bagpipes. Fairday hears bagpipes playing in a room, and follows the noise, and finds… a ripped up bagpipe that couldn’t make a sound. Fairday will get to the bottom of what is going on in the Begonia House?

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book. It was a marvelously done, debut, thriller novel. Ms. Robinson and Ms. Haight are great authors that really pull you into their story. I couldn’t get out until that final sentence. And, by then I wanted more. To say I want a second book is an understatement. The writing style is compelling, and makes me feel as if I was there with Fairday and her friends. I really like the illustrations in the book. They are like the ribbon on a present, or the icing on the cake. It adds another dimension to the story. I couldn’t put the book down, which may have been a not-so-smart idea, because this book is a horror-thriller kind of book, and I end up reading at night… Yeah, I may or may not have thought I heard bagpipes playing in the night… ;) This was a well-written book! It has enough thriller elements that, while it isn’t Goosebumps, it is creepy in its own way. I was trying to guess what would be happening next, but then another clue would be tossed in, and it would shake my logical reasoning all around, and the story kept me guessing. All over a great read!
*NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Beverly McClure.
Author 17 books453 followers
February 23, 2016
Moving to a different house in a new town and leaving behind dear friends is rough on anyone. It’s especially tough for children, who also have to start a new school where they don’t know anyone.

In THE SECRET FILES OF FAIRDAY MORROW, a novel for middle grade readers, by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson, Fairday Morrow faces such a situation. She’s not very happy about moving, either. The house, known as Begonia House, is old and decrepit. Even though her parents are going to renovate the place, she just wants to go home. It doesn’t take long, however, for Fairday (I love her name) to discover a room on the third floor of the house, and in that room there are mysteries to solve. Enter Lizzie, her friend from her former town who comes to visit for the weekend, and Marcus, a new boy she meets at school, and the DMS (Detective Mystery Squad) goes to work to solve the weird things happening at Begonia House.

I laughed. I held my breath. I followed the DMS crew through every room of the house and every experience they had. The authors give each character a distinct personality. The description of the house is perfect and who doesn’t love a haunted house? Well, maybe the ghosts or whatever’s doing the haunting don’t care for it so much.

Take the lively characters, the spooky setting, and the suspense waiting to see if the DMS succeeds in their quest to solve the riddles of Begonia House, and you have a winner. I can picture young sleuths now, after reading this novel, doing some investigating of their own. The black-and-white illustrations by Roman Muradov add just the right touch to the story.

Every school library and classroom , as well as public libraries, should have a copy of this book, and your own library too, of course. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Donna Galanti.
Author 16 books631 followers
January 15, 2016
What a fun mystery adventure with a dash of supernatural for kids and grown-ups alike to enjoy! Spunky Fairday Morrow is a good friend full of pluck and curiosity, who stands up for what she believes in and has no time for bullies. Each chapter’s cliffhanger ending raises questions that draws you deeper into the mystery connecting Fairday to Begonia House, the rambling, spooky home her parents plan to turn into a bed and breakfast.

Fairday soon enlists friends in the kids-only Detective Mystery Squad (DMS) to find out who is haunting Fairday’s new home with evil intent. Enchanted mirrors, ghostly music, gypsy curses, an unsolved disappearance, and a nod to The Wizard of Oz all eerily come into play behind strange happenings that ramp up the suspense.

Fairday and her friends each have their own admirable qualities that should appeal to readers and I’d like to get to know them better as they grow as characters. The parents are nicely served up on the outskirts of the story and the authors do a good job of the young characters taking charge of their own situation and solving it, even when they find themselves having to figure a way out of some dark situations. I especially enjoyed the elderly curmudgeon character, Larry Lovell, who sheds light on the trickery occurring in Fairday’s home and provides important information the DMS uses to solve the puzzle trapped inside the magical walls of Begonia House.

This book is a page turner that you’ll want to keep reading to unravel the mystery! The ending is wrapped up neatly but aptly leaves the door open for more tales about the DMS. I eagerly await more adventures of Fairday, her friends, and their investigative adventures!
Profile Image for The Keepers of the Books.
400 reviews5 followers
March 1, 2017
When 11-year-old, Fairday Morrow moves to Ashpot, Connecticut from Manhattan, she expects it to be dull and uninteresting. That is, until, she finds within the Begonia House, her creepy new Victorian home, with dark passageways, a dead gigantic willow tree, and lots of mysteries. Before she can finish unpacking, she starts hearing a mysterious sound coming from a padlocked door. When she manages to open it, she finds an ancient mirror, a brass key, a curious portrait of a red-haired lady, and a lot more clues to the house’s past. Teaming up with her parner Lizzie from the Detective Mystery Squad, can she and her friends solve the mystery?

This book is engaging, action-packed, and filled with mysteries. The characters are engaging, realistic, and draw the reader into the story. The interspersed illustrations are detailed and add a lot of character to the book. Fans of mysteries, detective stories, and adventures will enjoy reading this book.

This book was featured on The Keepers of the Books' Weekly Reads 15 episode. For more book reviews, recommendations, or online librarian librarian advice, please visit us at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK3v...

This book was given to us in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Random House in partnership with kissthebook.blogspot.com. All opinons expressed, however, are our own.
Profile Image for Medeia Sharif.
Author 18 books427 followers
December 21, 2015
Fairday Morrow moves from New York to Connecticut, to the creepy Begonia House. It has a horrible reputation, because kids at school are teasing her about the creepiness. With her fast wits and mouth, Fairday knows how to handle her classmates. Another thing she knows how to handle is a good mystery, which she's ready to solve.

Odd noises and sights are popping up in the Begonia House. Things go missing and magical occurrences shake things up. The house has a history of a missing bride and a father who fell to his death from the balcony. Fairday, her New York friend Lizzy, and her new friend Marcus make up the DMS, Detective Mystery Squad. They’re going to get to the bottom of all this strangeness before anyone else gets hurt or becomes missing.

This is a delightful middle grade read. I loved the mystery and the magic, as well as Fairday’s relationships with her friends. There are illustrations interspersed throughout that perfectly match the supernatural and historical aspects of the novel. The story takes place in modern times, but it gave me that feel-good sensation of reading something much older, like a classic from my own childhood. I highly recommend this.
Profile Image for Sherry Ellis.
Author 7 books56 followers
December 21, 2015
Fairday Morrow and her family have moved into a creepy old house with a mysterious past. Rumors say the place is haunted. At the center of the intrigue is a young woman named Ruby Begonia, who disappeared many years ago on her wedding day. What happened to Ruby, and why did she disappear? Fairday Morrow and her Detective Mystery Squad work to unravel the mystery and discover secrets of the magical house.

The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow is full of suspense that keeps readers turning pages. It's creepy, but no too scary - perfect for middle grade readers. Fairday and her friends are also likeable characters who readers will find entertaining. This is a well-done book that is perfect for middle-grade mystery lovers.
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