I found Sweet Miss Honeywell’s Revenge by Kathryn Reiss the way I have several other GU books – by instinct alone, picking a likely title off the library bookshelf. I seem to have acquired a knack for this. I was doubly excited to see that it not only appeared to be GU, but was also centered on an evil doll.
Zibby (short for Isabel) is all set to buy a pair of rollerblades for her 12th birthday when she is suddenly and inexplicably compelled to buy an antique dollhouse instead, which she immediately regrets. The dollhouse and its dolls soon begin acting strangely. Whatever she and her friends pretend in the dollhouse comes to pass in the most awful way possible. The worst part is the doll in the gray dress, who moves around on her own. Zibby can’t even get rid of the dollhouse – even after being burned to cinders, it just reappears in her room.
Zibby and her friends discover that the doll is the ghost of a murdered governess. The old woman who sold it to her was trying to rid herself of the curse, but Miss Honeywell (the governess) clearly orchestrated the whole thing. She wants to have a new girl to control. There are also other ghosts around, all connected to Miss Honeywell, and Zibby must unravel the mystery in time to save her mother from being possessed by Miss Honeywell forever.
Zibby never has a one-on-one confrontation with her adversary, relying consistently on the help of her friends even at the end, and her parents are not neglectful, but it is otherwise a fairly good example of the archetype.