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The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt

(Johnny Dixon #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,541 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Johnny Dixon is sure that he can solve the riddle that will reveal the hiding place of wealthy Mr. Glomus's will--and net Johnny a hefty reward in the bargain. Although his neighbor Professor Childermass warns him to stay away from the Glomus mansion, Johnny can't resist a challenge. Soon he's alone in the deserted house...with one of the undead at his heels! ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 3rd 2004 by Puffin (first published 1983)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  1,541 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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I enjoy these books. This is about Johnny Dixon and he needs money to help his grandparents so they can pay their doctor bills. A widow is looking for a lost Will and she will pay 10,000 who can solve the puzzle of where it is. Surprise - Johnny finds the Will.

Written in the 80s, it has a gothic feel to them and they are set in the 50s. It is a safe and cozy creepy factor. These are great for pre-teens and teens. Heck, I still enjoy them. They aren't groundbreaking or all that surprising. They a
Re-read: November 2019!

Loved just as much as I did the first time I read it. It's a perfect autumn read. :)
Tricia Harrild
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John Bellairs is a great pick for ghost stories and magic and evil deeds. They are an easy read and I really wish I could find them as audio versions.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
John Bellairs continues to improve as a writer, and the second in the JOHNNY DIXON books. As with previous books, there is a nice mix of mystery and spookiness. This time, Johnny is trying to find a long-lost will left behind by an eccentric millionaire. Of course, things are never easy for poor Johnny, and pretty soon he's in the need of help from The Professor. This book has some genuinely creepy moments, and Bellairs does a nice job of getting into Johnny's thoughts and motivations. Bellairs ...more
Bruce Nordstrom
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Younger readers
I first read John Bellairs' "The Face in the Frost," about 1970, and I loved it. Funny, frightening, could not put it down. Told myself that I gotta read more by this guy.

So here all these years later, I am reading my second book by John Bellairs. And I am really disappointed by it. I will grant you that this book is aimed at an early teen audience. But still some of the characters seemed so cast by formula. There is the young boy, orphaned, living with his grandparents. He is highly intellegant
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Bellairs' scary mysteries. I loved them as a child, too. They were just scary enough so I would make a running leap for the bed in the darkened room, but not scary enough to keep me awake. I also feel like he takes his young characters seriously. That even when the young mind is passionately irrational, it is still real.

I read the copy with Edward Gorey's perfect illustrations. Really, he's the perfect choice.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is billed as the sequel to The Curse of the Blue Figurine but you don't really need to read the first one. It just has the same main characters. It stands alone and the whole Glomis riddle and property would be amazing to see. Great plot especially the suspense of creeping around in the underground passage. Really feels like you're there. Sign of great writing. ...more
What is it about the combination of John Bellairs's writing and Edward Gorey's covers and frontspieces that makes these books still legitimately creepy? Also, pretty much all of his books take place in New England, which is a plus in my book. ...more
Erica Harmon
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-by-men
Just want to thank Ann for giving me a John Bellairs before leaving the bookstore all those years ago. No middle reader author compares.
Cynthia Egbert
I enjoyed this next offering in the Johnny Dixon series. Not as much creep factor as the first book but still decent. I do love the way that John Bellairs can get into the mind of a child. I also appreciate that Bellairs never fails to give me a Shakespeare reference!
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a surprise. It is a 5th grade reading level and I read it along with one of my 2nd grade students to give her some support with vocabulary, etc. and ended up really enjoying it. I'm guessing is set sometime around the early 1950's so behaviors, language etc. were a little unusual compared to today. Johnny is 12, living with his grandparents. His mother has died and his father in a pilot in the Korean War. Oddly enough his good friend is an elderly professor. The professor, second m ...more
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gothic horror at Bellairs' best. I vacillate between which set of characters I enjoy the most, but Johnny Dixon and the good professor most frequently wind up at the top. This is one of their best adventures and is strengthened by its interesting non-supernatural subplot of Johnny's new friendship and struggles at being without his mother and father. This is one I've read both as the Edward Gorey illustrated edition and a newer one, and the brilliance of Gorey's illustration - even if just the c ...more
i rememember Bellairs as a writer of children's books that were just on the too side of creepy (actually the House With a Clock in Its Walls, and one that must have been by the same publisher in the same format, because he doesn't seem to have written a book where the cutlery wakes up at night and has dance parties. it also wasn't gothic. the library in my town was small and i was a wuss.)

reading this one, i found it more as if the early 1950s setting was an excuse for the oldfashioned writing t
Aug 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: j, creepy
This time, Johnny Dixon just happens to be at Boy Scout Camp when he might have stumbled across the answer to the mystery of a missing will. The usual creepy black magicky stuff goes on, some nifty puzzles and a little too lickety split sort of ending. One of the nicest parts of this book is how Johnny makes a new friend (Fergie) and how he experiences near-constant worry about his grandmother's illness and his father in the Korean War.

I wish this reissue hadn't replaced the Gorey cover with thi
The book flows well and the lead up to the climax is nicely tense and well executed. Johnny's fears, leaps to conclusions and motivations are thoroughly believable for a 12 year old boy, particularly one who has recently lost his parents- mother is dead and father is away at war. As an adult I find the shorter choppy sentences a bit tiresome in places, but not so much that I couldn't read it.

My only complaint is the time. The book opens in the autumn of 1951, but the first book starts in winter
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I loved all John Bellairs books as a kid. I'm working on rereading them. I don't love the Johnny Dixon books as much as the Lewis Barnavelt books because the characters aren't nearly as awesome. But this second book was better than the Curse of the Blue Figurine. The mystery was pretty good and even page-turning in parts. It's disappointing to discover that these books aren't as good as I remember them being. I also miss the Edward Gorey covers. ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: kids with a penchant for the creepy and morbid
Recommended to trina by: my younger self
i love john bellairs because his books are creepy and atmospheric, and funnily child-inappropriate in ways children's books are not today. i bought a ton of these brand-new for a dollar each! at salvation army, and will donate them to my school's library... once i've read them all, of course. hehe. call me a philistine, but i'd rather read john bellairs's children's mysteries than john ashbery's so-called poems anytime! (j.a. being the 'real' stuff i'm also currently reading) ...more
Nov 01, 2010 added it
Shelves: kids
Bellairs! So strange and strangely paced. Parts fly by in true (even as an adult) terror, darker and more occult than you would expect, while others are about the unexpected but very real and very scary parts of being a kid. Bellairs is decidedly not factory-produced like other children's serials. There are no expected beats or rhythms, and I like him for it. That and the occult glass harmonica! ...more
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This is, in my humble opinion, the best of the John Bellairs mysteries. Recommended by a super cool school librarian (don't laugh - all nerdy kids love their librarians), every single thing about it facsinated me as a kid. Atmospheric, intelligent and just scary enough, after finishing this one, I went on to read every Bellairs book I could find. I devoured them all and read each one many, many times. ...more
Lisa Kucharski
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Discovered this writer by finding a book of his at a relative's summer home in Indiana. A fun series filled with mystery and supernatural powers. I also like the fact that the kid is smart and knows about Latin and poems and such. In this story, Johnnie is under a lot of pressure worrying about loved ones... and he decides to take a chance to help them... but ends up facing a lot of frightening and life-threatening situations. ...more
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh man oh man -- John Bellairs: still great. Five stars might be overkill, but I really enjoyed this one. The writing kind of reminds me of a more subdued Roald Dahl, if he were more focused on supernatural Gothic horror, etc. The trademarks are all there: cantankerous old adults, goofy (disgruntled but) friendly characters, bizarre puzzles and mysteries. If this were the comicsverse, I could see really enjoying a Johnny Dixon / Matilda crossover. Just sayin'. ...more
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesting writing. Bellairs is brilliant. Johnny Dixon and young person becomes obsessive about a riddle he feels he knows he will solve but the clues don't add up. For Johnny it may be to late before he can put clues together, by using his strong will power he attempts on his own to solve the riddle and mystery that surrounds the too famous Glomus's last will and testament, and if it actually exists. ...more
Heather Jackson
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found it, I found it, I green and yellow found it!

I fell in love with this book as a kid. For years, I couldn't remember enough to find it again... just the phrase "a tisket a gasket a will in a wicker basket" that haunted me like Johnny Dixon's troubles haunt him. Now that I've found it again, I'm pleased to say that it is as satisfying as I remembered, and better than the first Johnny Dixon book!
Jan 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
The second book in the Johnny Dixon series. I was as fun as I expected. This was an interesting story and it was nice to see some more character development, especially for Johnny. My only problem was that the story wrapped up too neatly.
Oct 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
Children's fiction. Mystery/adventure. A decent mystery that should charm kids that are into such things. The story centers mainly on the missing will and not so much on the mummy or the crypt, but the story is appropriately spooky for the month of October. ...more
I wanted to love this, never having read John Bellairs before, but... eh. It didn't light my world on fire. The ending didn't address many of the questions I had... I dunno. I'll probably read more, but this sadly didn't wow me. ...more
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this in middle school as a part of a series of the same characters. I remember really liking them. They were intense and scary for an innocent 10 year old.I am going to read some of this series again to see if they might be something my 10 year old will like.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Johnny Dixon is sure that he can solve the riddle that will reveal the hiding place of wealthy Mr. Glomus's will - and net Johnny a hefty reward in the bargain. Although his neihgbor proffesor childermass warns him to stay away from the Glomus mansion, Johnny can't resist a challenge. ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"When Johnny Dixon searches a deserted mansion to find H. Bagwell Glomus's hidden will, he accidentally stumbles upon a mysterious and terrifying force."

A great mystery paranormal children's novel.
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John Bellairs (1938–1991) was an American novelist working primarily in the Gothic genre. He is best-known for the children's classic The House with a Clock in its Walls 1973) and for the pathbreaking fantasy novel The Face in the Frost (1969). Bellairs held a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame University and a master's in English from the University of Chicago. He combined writing and teaching ...more

Other books in the series

Johnny Dixon (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Curse of the Blue Figurine
  • The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull
  • The Revenge of the Wizard's Ghost
  • The Eyes of the Killer Robot
  • The Trolley to Yesterday
  • Chessmen of Doom
  • The Secret of the Underground Room
  • The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie
  • The Hand of the Necromancer
  • The Bell, the Book, and the Spellbinder

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