Laura feels like she doesn’t belong, especially at school where the kids seem to be so uninterested in anything different…like Laura herself, her writer father, her sculptor mother or the falling down mansion they live in. They only thing the other kids ever want to know is if the big old house is haunted. It IS full of unused rooms and dusty furniture and an attic full of deteriorating junk, but if it’s haunted Laura doesn’t care, she loves the old house. Laura is a dreamer and artist. She loves imagining what might have gone on in the grand ballroom of the old house. When Laura meets her friend Leon’s grandmother she actually remembers the owner of the home:
He was an Italian gentleman. Some people said that he had been an ambassador or a consul and that he had raveled all over the world. Others said he was a professor. No one really knew. He lived in the big house on his own. (page 65)
Laura’s imagination goes into high gear as she dreams up reasons why a man would build such an elaborate house and then live in it for years all alone. When Laura discovers that Leon is also interested in the secrets of the house the two of them set out to find out Mr. Visconti’s story. A forgotten cellar, a locked box, old letters, a cemetery are only some of the clues that help the kids unravel the mystery of Mr. Carlo Visconti.
If you have ever dreamed about exploring an old house…opening drawers and peeking into boxes in the attic, The Visconti House is a perfect mystery for you. It’s also got a little bit of romance, both in the mysterious past of the house and in Laura’s present. Author: Elsbeth Edgar
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