The Deadly Daylight

The Deadly Daylight

By Harrier, Ash

4 ratings 4 reviews 5 followers

12-year-old Alice has a hard time making friends. Maybe it's because she works in a funeral home and receives messages from the dead.


While the kids at school taunt her and call her “Alice in Zombieland," Alice England finds refuge at her father’s funeral home, where the dead tell her stories. As she arranges the deceased’s personal mementos, an item will hum with meaning–resonance–and Alice will see the story of their life.


When she "meets" George Devenish, a man who died of a rare sunlight allergy, Alice knows George was murdered. Her only leads are George’s niece, “Violet the Vampire,” who shares her uncle’s allergy and a friendly, but secretive boy named Cal.


As a determined Alice investigates, she is surprised to find Violet and Cal become more than just suspects, but allies—maybe even friends. However, Alice soon finds navigating her first real friendships might be harder than solving a murder.


Clever humor and twisty clues abound in this cozy middle grade mystery about a group of misfits finding courage in the truth and friendship in each other. Delightful, dark, and quirky, The Deadly Daylight is perfect for fans of Nancy Drew and Winterhouse

Publisher: Holiday House
ISBN-13: 9780823455621
ISBN-10: 0823455629
Published on 3/5/2024
Binding: Hardcover
Number of pages: 272

Book Reviews (4)

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Have you ever wondered if the people who live in a funeral home were scared or eldritchly? Ash Harrier’s “The Deadly Daylight” will clear up all of your misconceptions as she introduces you to Alice England, a precocious twelve-year-old girl, who lives with her father in a funeral home, and her unwonted clique. Though the unlikely threesome of Alice, Violet Devenish, and Calvin Lee seem harmless enough, the Zombie Queen, Ultraviolet, and Cal’s friendship manifests under the haze of a mystery. Nothing interesting happens in Damocles Cove. Ever. Until the untimely death of Violet’s uncle George. But is his death really a mystery? Alice believes there is more to his death. But why? Harrier’s witty writing of Alice’s attitude to her temporary guests normalizes being surrounded by death and sadness daily while she works with her father in the funeral home. Alice never knew life without dead people whom she always treated with respect. Alice finds solace in working alongside her father and finds she can connect with the temporary house guests. These strong intuitions propel Alice to investigate Violet’s uncle’s death. Unwillingly Violet tags along with Alice in her search for the truth which later becomes an obsession. Would the obsession destroy the new friendship? Was George’s death really related to his health? Was it an accident? Murder? Everyone is a suspect, including his niece Violet, maybe even Cal. The chapter book is an easy read. Comical interactions between Alice, Violet, and Cal keep you entertained as they hang out at school, the funeral home, and some unseemly gatherings at the pier and wharves on the Australian coastline. Alice’s over-the-top vocabulary and keen investigation skills make the mystery fun. But how can it be fun with a rare genetic allergy, illegal exotic animals, and a funeral home all part of the plot? Well, you have to read the book to find out! I would recommend the book for kids ages 13 and older. And grab a thesaurus when you read the book!

Working in a funeral home does not seem to be a quite enjoyable job to many people, but Alice England loves it. By touching a memento or one of the dead themselves, Alice can obtain a brief glimpse of their lives, whether whole or a small period of them. Working with her father, the 12 year old's life is peaceful - until one of her companion's uncle is seemingly murdered on the pier. Now Alice must work around a recently formed relationship with the dead's niece, Violet, to try and solve the mysterious case. She may have other prospects of friends, such as a boy named Cal, but attempting to balance the needs of the case with the constant demands of friends may prove to be too much to handle. The Deadly Daylight seamlessly balances suspense and the other qualities of a murder mystery in language that is suitable for middle-grade readers, taking in the best of both worlds. The book never has a dull chapter, and although some of them may seem slightly slow in progression, the climax of the novel fits them all together and gives every single one meaning. This book is not overly scary, which makes it perfect for readers who just want a comfortable read, yet still intriguing and one that makes them guess along with the main character.

Set in a small town in Australia, The Deadly Daylight tells about how a 12-year-old named Alice England tries to solve the mystery of a man's puzzling death from sunlight. The main character works at her family's funeral parlor, and she has a very strange relationship with dead people. It goes like this. A mysterious hum resonates from an object of importance to the deceased, and then she is transported into a little snapshot of the person's life. This shall be important later on... She meets a person named Violet, who, like her, has little friends, but is different in many ways. Moreover, she has a dangerous sunlight allergy. Alice is invited to their house, but death occurs the day after. George, Violet's uncle, is dead, apparently killed by the family's sunlight allergy. Having a strange vision about George's last moments, Alice decides that something fishy is going on and decides to investigate with Violet. The clues keep piling up: a letter signed with a mysterious initial, a grumpy guard, and a strange phone charger owned by a secretive boy. What may seem a little not relevant now, might turn out to be relevant later. All in all, I enjoyed this book. The characters were cool. It is intriguing to see Alice England, the somewhat naive person, who is smart but does not know some very basic things. She is so naive and funny. She is confused by elements of society, such as boba, which she says is "gummy tea", and chokes on the little tiny pearls. She is mystified by the strange skill of tact but tries to do it anyway to please Violet, with interesting results. The dialogue, too, is good, and Alice talks in a formal, matter-of-fact tone that is much remarked upon and different from other people. The writing style is also much cleaner than most other middle-grade authors. With an engaging mystery, interesting characters, and great style, The Deadly Daylight is a good book to read. More than that, it is deliciously macabre and will leave readers wanting for more about Alice England. With such high standards, the next book in the series is sure to be good too... People who enjoy a cozy mystery with elements of the supernatural will appreciate this middle-grade novel.

They always say “Dead men tell no tales.” Which is obvious. They really can’t speak at that point. Or can they…? Alice English works at her father’s funeral home, where the personal belongings of the dead tell her the corpse’s life story. Working at said funeral home has earned her the horrible nickname “Alice in Zombieland” by her classmates. But when a new body comes in, George Devenish, who died of a rare sunlight allergy, Alice suspects there might be foul play. She teams up with his niece, Violet, to solve the mystery! Was George really murdered, or was it all an accident, like the death report says? This mystery will hook you in. Really enjoyed it, and it improves your vocabulary, double bonus! Would recommend this to anyone 10-15.