Lucy and Oliver Tinker and their father Charles are getting settled into Watch Hollow after their harrowing introduction to it when Agatha and Algernon Kojima arrive at the house with their nanny, Bedelia Graves, claiming that the house belongs to the children. Their great uncle, Oliver Snockett, is somehow related to Edgar Blackford, and even though the Tinkers are the caretakers and have the deeds to the property, the group is set to move in, especially since the Kojima children lost their parents in an accident and Algernon is now not speaking.The father reluctantly agrees; after all, it's the annual Watch Hollow celebration, and the house has an unusual history. Soon, though, Ms. Graves is sucked into he clock of the house, and the animals come out in the day time. Of course, the father is in town when this happens! Not only that, but there is a Minotaur on the loose, and it is trying to drag everything back into the labyrinth with it! There is a lot of fighting and running while Lucy and Agatha and Oliver and Algernon try to figure out what is going on. The clock animals try to help, but there is still a greater evil hovering over Watch Hollow. When an evil character from the Kojima's past shows up, some things are explained, but the book ends with an old man from the town parade demanding the ruby amulet that was given to the group and was wanted by the Minotaur, so there should be at least one more book in the series!
This was rather brilliantly paced, with lots of exciting scenes interspersed with brief moments of explanation and investigation, so the story never bogged down-- it just gave me a little time to catch my breath before heading off into danger again! The number one complaint students have about books is that "nothing happens", and they can't say that about this book! It was interesting to add another family into the mix, so that Lucy and Oliver had some other children to help them with the house, and there's just the right level of evil in the bad characters. Watch Hollow has been popular in my library, so my students will be looking forward to this one.