When Frannie’s dad transfers to Oregon, she worried about going to a new school, and why she and her twin, Jeff, weren’t really close. Frannie also dreams about her missing Mom, and wonders why she never returned to them. Ghosts, a long ago murder, and helping to trap a killer was never on her private “worry” list. Yet a late night visit from a scary apparition, trailing long gray veils, and begging for Frannie’s help, changes everything. Twin Jeff was not a believer, and her dad thought ghosts were rubbish. So Frannie and the ghost, who was amazingly kind and friendly, put their heads together and planned revenge.
A chilling encounter in the basement, and the appearance of the ghost’s familiar, an arachnid of gargantuan size, persuades Jeff to help them trap Thelma Hill’s killer. Keeping Dad out of the ghostly loop is tricky, and using the internet to trap the killer is dangerous. When the panicked and treacherous killer pays a midnight visit to their basement, the trap is sprung. Later, Thelma Hill gets her wish to be buried in a consecrated church cemetery. And when the hoo-hah of the capture dies down, Dad meets a reporter he can’t say no too, and Thelma Hill finally brings news about Frannie’s mom.
This was such an entertaining, delightful read! I enjoyed it as much as a middle grader would! Margot Finke has a gift for storytelling and her prose fits the age group perfectly. The story has just the right amount of creepiness without being scary. There's enough mystery and suspense to keep young readers turning pages, but what I loved most was the characterization. Frannie is such a genuine character, her interactions with the ghost and her twin brother simply jump up the page, making this a thoroughly pleasurable read. Highly recommended for middle-graders and fans of ghost stories.
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