Ghost in the Turret
by Donna W. Carson
Author Reputation Press

"The doctors agreed he died from a heart attack, after slitting his wrists and then hanging himself—but I knew him—and I believe he was murdered."

When three friends spend the night in a family's guest room during a school vacation, they begin hearing mysterious nocturnal sounds in the attic above them. When they discover that a previous owner died up in that attic, the girls work together through research and interviews to solve the mystery of the ghostly presence in the house as well as to determine what really happened to the deceased.

The third in the LAS Mysteries series, this story follows a well-loved literary pattern of spunky, self-motivated kid detectives who seek to answer questions and fulfill justice in their local world. Reminiscent of favorite series like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Magic Tree House, the sleuths here use their wits, resources, and tenacity to solve their mystery. From long days of research at the library to thoughtful dialogues and deductions, these timeless characters speak with a folksy cadence and suggest a bygone fictional era with lots of pies, meatloaves, and mashed potatoes. The youthful detectives diligently do their work and eventually find their answers.

However, the downhome sweetness of the book's tone and setting is offset somewhat by the central topic of suicide and murder, which some parents might find too gruesome for younger readers within the family. Likewise, discussions of a "crazy wife" whose spending habits and greed tormented her kindly husband may invoke unwelcome gender stereotypes. Still, this is overall a sweet story with dual mysteries fueling its engine and a crew of assertive, appealing characters whose company kids will likely enjoy.

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