Blog Tour, Review & Author Blog: Demelza & the Spectre Detectors

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations

This month marks the publication of Demelza & the Spectre Detectors by Holly Rivers - one of our Spring 2020 Ones to Watch - and today is our stop on the blog tour.

This story features a young inventor named Demelza, who loves nothing more than spending time in her attic bedroom creating weird and wonderful contraptions. Read on for a review of Demelza & The Spectre Detectors and then head over to author Holly's guest booklist featuring 5 favourite books about inventions and inventors!

Book Title: Demelza & The Spectre Detectors (available here)

Author: Holly Rivers

Publisher: Chicken House

Publication Date: February 2020

Reviewer: Carol Carter


A humorous and quirky new series about a STEM-loving female inventor, written by debut author Holly Rivers who was a lead actress in ITV’s original Worst Witch series.

Demelza Clock, child inventor, is as logical and scientific as they come. Her preferred pastime is staying up past bedtime working on her latest contraption. Past favourites include the Fantastic Fortune-Telling Toaster (100% accuracy not guaranteed) and the Remarkable Robotic Hand for Homework Haters. Demelza believes in reason and the evidence of her eyes. Until, that is, she discovers that her Grandma Maeve is a ‘Spectre Detector’, able to commune with the dead, and that Demelza herself has inherited the ability. Soon she is embroiled in the Spectre Detecting world, proud owner of her own ghoulbox and Talking Head (hilariously grumpy Lord Balthazar).

That would be quite enough for any 11-year-old girl to cope with, but more is to come – there is a Snatcher on the loose, on the hunt for a young Spectre Detector to perform the Conjuring of Resurrection and forfeit their own life in the process. And it appears the Snatcher has young Demelza in their sights...

With a cast of colourful characters, a breezy humour that lightens the darker themes and a well-paced plot with satisfying conclusion, Demelza and the Spectre Detectors is an intriguing start to a new lower middle grade series. It will appeal to fans of spooky yet funny stories, bridging the gap nicely for those preparing to move on from the Worst Witch (in which the author once starred!) and Amelia Fang, but not quite ready for Skullduggery Pleasant.

Guest Post

Click here to read Holly River's guest booklist featuring 5 favourite books about inventions & inventors

HOLLY RIVERS grew up in Wales and speaks fluent Welsh and English. As a child she spent a lot of time drawing, reading and wishing that she was Pippi Longstocking. Holly used to be an actress, most notably playing Drusilla Paddock in ITV’s original Worst Witch series. Her days are now spent penning new stories, travelling and falling in love with Cuba and Mexico, as well as leading drama, craft and bushcraft classes for children. She lives in London with her girlfriend. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyrivers_lit. DEMELZA & THE SPECTRE DETECTORS by Holly Rivers out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House).


You can order Demelza & the Spectre Detectors online or from your local bookshop or library.

Many thanks to the publishers at Chicken House for sending us a review copy and to Emma for providing the guest post. Check out the other stops on the blog tour, too.


Where next?

> See Holly Rivers' 5 favourite books about inventors and inventions > Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub

> Browse our Topic Booklists

> View our printable year group booklists.

> See our Books of the Month.


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