Death or Ice Cream? by Gareth P. Jones

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An undertaker’s son uncovers the true dark heart of a town’s mystery in this macabre comedy.

Larkin Mills is a place where Competitive Basket Weaving is the favorite sport, and the only hotel is a funeral parlor; a place with toad infestations and locust nests and strange things lurking in the sewers; a place with an exquisite ice cream parlor, and a lot of death.

We meet apparently healthy Albert Dance, called a sickly child and booked into Larkin Mills’ Hospital for Specially Ill Children. Then his neighbor Ivor, who observes strange goings on outside the Dances’ house, and begins his own investigations ― the presence of his oddball Aunt Morwenna and the looming memory of his deceased uncle spurring him on. Young Olive, who is given a battered accordion by her father, and unwittingly strikes a dreadful deal with an instrument repair man. Mr Morricone the town ice-cream seller, who has lines snaking around the block for his legendary ice cream flavors Summer Fruits Suicide and The Christmas Massacre. And Mr Milkwell the undertaker, who has some very dodgy secrets in his hearse...

Gareth P. Jones (author of the Ninja Meerkats series among other titles) has created a very off-kilter world for YA readers.