Phil Hickes‘ spooky Middle Grade novel, The Haunting of Aveline Jones is published today in the UK by Usborne.

The title will be the first in a series of Middle Grade ghost stories, acquired by Usborne in what The Bookseller referred to as a “hotly-contested” auction.

Just in time for Halloween, The Haunting of Aveline Jones follows the precocious young Aveline on holiday in a seemingly-uneventful coastal town, who soon gets swept up in a bone-chilling mystery that is sure to give readers goosebumps…

Aveline Jones loves reading ghost stories, so a dreary half-term becomes much more exciting when she discovers a spooky old book. Not only are the stories spine-tingling, but it once belonged to Primrose Penberthy, who vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again. Intrigued, Aveline decides to investigate Primrose’s disappearance.

Now someone… or something, is stirring. And it is looking for Aveline.

Turn on your torches, and join Aveline Jones in her first charmingly spooky mystery.

Reviewers are already full of praise for Hickes’ outstanding writing.

“This is a fast-paced (yet slow burning), creepy and addictive read!”  Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Chillingly atmospheric and hauntingly captivating, this is one exceptionally eerie adventure…” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“The characters are all so fascinating and realistically written, the story itself is enticing, paced appropriately and has the right amount of eerie, creepy, mystery. The author has crafted together this wonderfully exceptional horror book that will suit any age.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“Perfect for children while holding a lovely balance between the contrasting sides of the spooky and the funny. It is absolutely phenomenal in all its darkness…” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

“It will delight fans of ghost stories, thanks to it’s fantastic, eerie setting and chilling conclusion.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Originally from the UK, Phil now lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. He graduated with an English Literature degree from Middlesex University, and currently writes as an advertising copywriter. He has a passion for horror, ghosts, and all things that go bump in the night, which led him to do an online fiction writing course with the horror author, Jeremy C. Shipp.

His first short story was featured in an adult horror anthology, and he has since had several short stories published in anthologies in the adult genre. He turned his hand to MG writing as he wanted to create the same visceral thrill he remembers from reading Alan Garner, Clive King and Roald Dahl. The Haunting of Aveline Jones is his first MG novel.

The first two books in the series have already been sold in Spain, Germany and Russia. The novel’s sequel will be published in September 2021.

Phil Hickes was also the next author to take part in our author interview series. Check it out here!