The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull (Johnny Dixon)
A bookish boy searches for his missing best friend in this spooky tale by the author of The House with a Clock in Its Walls
On a country lane in snowbound 1950s New Hampshire, a car goes skidding off the road. Professor Childermass and Johnny Dixon escape unscathed, but their car is stuck, and they are forced to walk into town. Johnny doesn’t mind. A curious young man, he has fun anytime the professor takes him out, because he’s treated like an adult. Together they’ve gotten into all sorts of supernatural scrapes, and this winter night, they’ll face their toughest challenge yet.
When Childermass suddenly vanishes, Johnny is the only one who can find him. The mystery is linked to a tiny skull taken from a child’s dollhouse, which seems to have powers too terrible to guess at. With the help of a crusty old Irish priest, Johnny chases the clues to his friend’s disappearance all the way to the rocky coast of Maine, where something evil hungers for revenge.
From the author of the series featuring Lewis Barnavelt and Anthony Monday, the Johnny Dixon novels are charmingly old-school and shot through with suspense, and The Spell of the Sorcerer’s Skull may be the most chilling of them all.
Praise for The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull (Johnny Dixon)
Praise for John Bellairs
“I have just spent a long rainy weekend buried under a quilt, devouring salty peanuts and a stack of John Bellairs mysteries. It was heaven . . . Much like other mysteries, these short works of the imagination are designed and constructed with the fine storytelling craft of an adult master. . . . Bellairs moves the action at a furious clip. . . . [These] hair-raising adventures also excite readers because they involve believable and likable characters with whom we can empathize in moments of danger . . . An endearing detective team.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Is there no end to the suspense John Bellairs can create?” —School Library Journal
“There’s suspense and action aplenty. . . Perfect for the pre-Stephen King set.” —Booklist
“Sophisticated notions on the nature of good and evil, nuanced storytelling, and expert world-building.” —AV Club