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Closed for the Season
Closed for the Season
Closed for the Season
Электронная книга194 страницы3 часа

Closed for the Season

Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд

4/5

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Об этой электронной книге

A contemporary thriller by the bestselling author of The Old Willis Place.

Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, set out to solve the mystery of a murder that took place some years ago in the old house Logan's family has just moved into. The boys' quest takes them to the highest and lowest levels of society in their small Maryland town, and eventually to a derelict amusement park that is supposedly closed for the season.

ЯзыкEnglish
ИздательClarion Books
Дата выпуска6 сент. 2010 г.
ISBN9780547394138
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Автор

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn’s many acclaimed novels include such beloved ghost stories as Wait Till Helen Comes, Deep and Dark and Dangerous, and Took. A former librarian, she has received more than fifty child-voted state awards for her work. She lives in Columbia, Maryland, with a cat named Nixi.

Читать другие книги автора: Mary Downing Hahn

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Отзывы о Closed for the Season

Рейтинг: 3.909090909090909 из 5 звезд
4/5

11 оценок38 отзывов

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  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Logan’s family moves in to a strange, spooky house that gives him the creeps even before he is told by his new neighbor, Arthur, that someone was murdered in the house three years earlier. Not only is he worried about his new house, but right off the bat Logan can’t stand Arthur, who seems quirky and odd in a way that isn’t a compliment. Unfortunately, because they are both about to start 7th grade and live next door to each other Arthur assumes they will be best friends. With summer vacation already in full swing, Logan doesn’t have many opportunities to meet other friends. So, with some reluctance he agrees to help Arthur try to solve the case of how the former owner, Mrs. Donaldson, died. Will Logan be able to stand Arthur long enough to make a dent in the case? Are the two boys getting involved in something that is way too dangerous? When clues lead them to an old, abandoned amusement park thing just get weirder. Of course, you will be on the edge of your seat waiting to find out how everything turns out.

    Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn is a chilling mystery that will give you goose bumps. I think anyone in 4th grade and up that likes frightening stories will enjoy this book. My heart was racing at different points in the book. I liked Logan because he seemed very down to earth. I could understand why he found Arthur to be annoying, but I also liked seeing how their relationship developed. I think Logan is braver and kinder than he knows. I think the cover is awesome and it drew me in and made me want to read the book.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Closed for the season is a myserious book about 2 young boys that are trying to find a clue. The clue is to see who killed the older women who once lived in logan's house. Arthur informed logan and his parents about the murder and how it happen. Logan and Arthur went around trying to find out about the murder. Personally I love this book because it gives the reader a chance to think about what could happen next without letting the text give it away.This book could be used for elementary to middle school. An activity that could be used in the classroom is to create a scavenger hunt. The students would have to answer questions about the story in order to get a clue. The student would have to find things such as suitcases,a hole, a dog and etc...
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This book is very suspenseful and holds the reader's attention the entire time. Never once did I get bored while reading this book; it easily became one of my favorites. For those who love suspense and mystery books, this one is great. This is a book that you will not want to put down once you begin reading. I was questioning the events in the story the entire time I was reading. It was fun to try to solve the mystery and see whether you were right in the end. I love that the author uses the innocence of children in the book as characters to solve this mystery. I highly recommend this book, not only to students, but to adults as well. This book held my attention and kept me interested.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Logan's family moves into a rundown old house and Logan is immediately befriended by their weird next door neighbor, Arthur, who informs him that the old lady who used to live there was murdered. Logan and Arthur decide that they need to discover the truth about her murder before the old Magic Forest Amusement Park (where she worked) is closed down. They run into trouble when some of the town's most prominent men figure out what they are up to -- and don't want them to discover any more. Not the scary book that the cover (and author) suggest, but a good mystery with plenty of quirky characters, a fantastic setting (that I wish actually existed) and a satisfying end.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This book is so hard to put down!!! It is about a boy who moves into an old house that an old lady was killed in. He finds he has a neighbor named Arthur, who is one year younger than him. The boys try to solve the mystery of who killed the old lady and who stole the Magic Forest amusement park money, with some help of Violet, the murdered old ladys daughter and of course finding clues of what might have happened to the old lady. Their only problem is Silas, who wants the money. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR ANY AND EVERY READER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Closed for the Season is a realistic fiction mystery book about an amusement park that is closed down. Mary Downing Hahn is the author of the book, and created an unexpected plot for this book. The Magic Forest is an amusement park that has been shut down, but there is foul playing going on involving a murder and people of the town who have become involved. This is a great book for children to read.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    This book was hard to put down once I started reading. Although it may be a little scary for some younger kids, it's a great book for middle school age range. It is hands down a great mystery story. When two unlikely friends meet, they begin the adventure of their lifetimes and try to solve a murder case. They get themselves into a lot of trouble, but it doesn't stop them. Together, they have a wild imagination and are determined to solve the case. They end up being town heroes, but it takes a lot of sneaking around and troublemaking to get the job done.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This book is a great mystery book! I loved reading this book. From the very start of the book it was a mystery and it kept me wanting to read more. It was a very easy read for kids. It started with a boy and his family moving into a house where somebody was found dead months before. The young boy found this very mysterious and creepy. The story is revolved around him and his new friend trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened to the lady who used to live in his house.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Logan, the main character is on an adventure with his next door neighbor buddy Arthur. Both of them want to find out who murdered Miss. Donaldson who lived in Logan's house before he had moved in. The story focuses on 'solving' the murder story. The antagonist of this story is a friend called Silas who is a violent man in the family. I would recommenced this story to fifth and sixth graders because the ages of Logan and Arthur are in the pre-teen years. A very fat and fun read. You really want to know what fun happens next. Its set in the traditional american residential area where the people are all close together and to get out of this neighborhood you have to drive or bike. The sitting is described very well in the book, gives you a sinister view of the book.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This is an excellent book full of mystery and excitement. Also in this book are valuable lessons, such as staying true to who you are, knowing what a true friend is, and not allowing what others think of you to become an issue. Learning valuable lessons as well as an intense murder mystery make for a great story!
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    For everyone, young and old who likes fairies, prepare yourself for a world you didn't know existed. Sheila Dane has done an awesome job as a Fairy Hunter, pointing out all of the different fairies we didn't know existed. She and her friend Ashley, who has her own fairy, along with their friends, The Rabbit and Turtle, take the reader along as they make their discoveries. This is a list of just a few of the fairies she has discovered: Button Fairies, Sock Fairies, Flute Fairies, and Mud Puddle Fairies, and of course for all of us readers, there is the book fairy..There are so many more in her book. The story of each fairy, and what they like, and eat and do was charming. I have to mention the illustrations in this book, created by Rose Csorba. I am so used to reading the words and ignoring pictures or giving them a cursory glance that the illustrations have to be outstanding for me to stop reading and look at them. These go above and beyond outstanding. I decided the way to handle this was to read through the book the first time without looking at the pictures and then take time to just look at the pictures. Finally I read the book again and stopped to see what else I might discover in the pictures. This is a book that everyone who reads it will read and re-read over and over, and over. I have several students and a sister that love fairies and I know that I will need to purchase many copies as gifts for them. This book definately earned a rating of 5 out of 5
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    CLosed for the season was written by Mary Downing Hahn and is classified as a realistic fiction and mystery book. It is about two unexpected friends that go on adventures and work together to solve a mystery. This book was so good I could barely put it down. Although it is a Children's book, some parts are a little scary so I would suggest no one younger that fourth grade should probably read it. This book teaches lessons and motivates kids to think outside of the box. If you are a mystery lover I would strongly recommend reading this book.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This book is hands down one of the best chapter children's book I have read. It keeps the reader on his or her toes and can't wait to flip the next page. The book is about a woman who was murdered and everyone thought she stole money. Two courageous boys take a stand and solve the mystery of the missing money. I would tell anyone of any age to read this book because it is so much fun to read. I really enjoyed this book.
  • Рейтинг: 2 из 5 звезд
    2/5
    A little lackluster compared to her others. I am anxious to hear what the students have to say about this book.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This story was very unexpected but so worth it. It has so many great themes and ideas that relate to children and too adults. The two main characters become the most unlikely of friends and that friendship takes them on a whirlwind adventure filled with ups and downs along with mischief and success. They face and conquer many things that children in today's schools also deal with such as moving, bullying, parents/society forcing certain peer groups on them, and even tough family situations like abandonment, abuse,and etc. The author writes these themes in such away that the reader comprehends the depth of what is happening but also it keeps it light. This a versatile book that can easily be introduced into a classroom, to a young child who may not like to read, or even keep the attention of an avid reader.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This book is a good mystery book. A family move to a new town for work and discover that the house that they are living in has a mystery murder case that needs to be solved. I want go into many details if you read the book then you will find out the rest.
  • Рейтинг: 2 из 5 звезд
    2/5
    IM kinda disapointed with Mary. usually I get into her books as soon as I pick it up i read this on and off for a year.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    When Logan Forbes moves in to a new house in anew place he thinks the only thing he will have to put up with is the pesky neighbor, Arthur Jenkins. But when Arthur reveals that there was a murder in Logan's new house. All the worries becomes worse. With a little prodding from Arthur, they decide to try to prove that Mrs. Donaldson was murdered for something other than embezzling, their adventure leads them to the abandoned Magic Forest. What they find there will tie everything together.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Closed for the Season is about two boys who go on an adventure that leads them to finding the reason the local amusement park is closed. Logan moves to the town, next door to Arthur. Arthur and his grandmother know everything about everything in the town. Arthur tells Logan about the lady that died in his house, and he tells him she was murdered. This leads Logan to want to know more about the house his parents just bought, and before long he has a new friend, Arthur. They go on a hunt for multiple people. Ultimately the find Silas, and he leads them to the answer to their original questions. Was all of this linking to the amusement park?Why did the amusement park close? Was she murdered or was it actually an accident?This book won the Edgar Award which is presented to the Best Mystery Writers of the year. This is an accurate award because this is a suspenseful and engaging read all about mystery and murder. This book is one that I think everyone should read, even adults. This book is well written and goes into plenty of detail. Lastly I think that it is a good read and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys mystery books.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Thirteen year-old Logan has just moved from Richmond to small, rural Bealesville. As soon as his family begins moving into their new house, the kid next door comes over and explains that the house has been sitting empty because the last owner was murdered there and found at the bottom of the cellar stairs. The boy, Arthur, is known as the weirdo of the neighborhood, but it turns out that everything he says is true, and soon Arthur enlists Logan in investigating the murder.The cover looks dark and scary, but this is a straight-up mystery, and is a winner of the Edgar Award for best Juvenile Mystery. Just as much of the story involves the friendship between Arthur and Logan, and what part labels and peer pressure plays in their friendship.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    The weather-beaten sign on the gate of the Magic Forest says closed for the season. But when the boys ride up to the gate on their bikes, Arthur tells his new friend, Logan, that the old amusement park hasn't been open for years. Kudzu vines have grown over everything, making the park look sinister even in broad daylight, so Logan is reluctant to go inside, but Arthur urges him on. He's sure they'll discover important clues to the mystery they're trying to solve: Who killed Myrtle Donaldson? And what happened to the money she handled as head bookkeeper at the Magic Forest? Arthur and Logan's quest takes them to the lowest -- and highest -- levels of society in their small Virginia town. The boys must pay another visit to the Magic Forest, this time in the middle of the night. And this time they find the killer waiting for them among the shadowy kudzu vines.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Great mystery weaves in an interesting message about choosing friends.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    Good mystery story and a good friendship book. The ending would make a great movie.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Author: Mary Downing Hahn Theme: investigation, friendship, mysteryCharacters: Arthur is talkative, opinionated, and can be obnoxious. Logan is more of a follower, but is curious, well-mannered, and brave boy. Nina is a private investigator who is attractive and secretive Mrs. Donaldson is the lady who died, but has a hidden briefcase somewhere in Magic Forest. Summary: Arthur is a boy who has just moved into a new town with unfamiliar people. His first and only friend, Arthur, keeps Logan entertained with new schemes and adventures due to their curiosity. They began to investigate the hidden brief case that has been told many rumors about. Even though their sneaking around leads to trouble most of the time, they figure out where the brief case is and how to find it. They get Violet to help them solve the mystery, but Silas gets in their way. Nina with the help of the two little boys find out who the bad guys are and solve the mystery after all!
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Hard to put down. It is an interesting read and very suspenseful for young children. You are always wondering what is going to happen. Closed for the season is full of interesting twists and turns of events and you never know what is going to happen next. I highly recommend it to read in your class.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This is an adventure filled book that I am sure that any student would love to read. A book that could very well stick with them and they would like to go back and reread it at times. Logan and Arthur are mystery solvers in this book and help to get to the bottom of Mrs. Donaldson's murder. The bravery that the young boy's show and initiative to get to the bottom of the real story of Mrs. Donaldson's death will engage the students.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    3/5
    I couldn't help but to think I was reading a Scooby Doo script when I first started this book: abandoned amusement park, a mysterty to be solved. But Hahn's characters are believable and interesting enough to make this a fun read.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Closed for the season was one of the most mysterious and mischevious books that I have ever read. This book could definitely be recommended to children/teens at the age of 10-12. This jaw dropping mystery book includes things that you would never think of. As in who embezzled the money, or who even killed the fragile grandmother. The clues in the book will have you interested in knowing WHY. Without giving too much away , Closed for the season is book that I will probably remember forever. This book not only involves mysteries, but life long messages for students who are in middle school. It focuses on bullying, domestic violence and crime scene/murder as a whole. Mary Downing Hahn (Author) as a child did not like to write, but she loved drawing pictures. Her books were based on telling stories through pictures. She is also a recipient of the Scott O'dell and Edgar Awards.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This book is about a young boy named Logan who moves to a new town into an old house, which he later learns is the place of the murder of the previous owner, an elderly lady named Mrs. Donaldson. Logan's new neighbor, Arthur, befriends him, and the two go on an adventure of a lifetime to solve the mystery of who murdered Mrs. Donaldson.I would recommend this book to boys and girls because many people love mysteries. This book is suspenseful and, of course, mysterious! It will definitely keep you guessing. A young boy of about middle school age would likely really like this book because they would probably connect really well with Logan.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    Closed for the Season is a wonderful mystery book for children. It captures the attention of the readers from beginning to the end with some pretty intense closing moments. Along with the mystery, there is just enough humor to keep the book balanced. Really good read!

Предварительный просмотр книги

Closed for the Season - Mary Downing Hahn

Media

Clarion Books

3 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10016

Copyright © 2009 by Mary Downing Hahn

All rights reserved. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

Clarion Books is an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

hmhbooks.com

The Library of Congress has cataloged the print edition as follows:

Hahn, Mary Downing.

Closed for the season : a mystery / by Mary Downing Hahn.

p. cm.

Summary: When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer.

[1. Mystery and detective stories. 2. Murder—Fiction. 3. Neighbors—Fiction. 4. Friendship—Fiction. 5. Virginia—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.H1256Cl 2009

[Fic]—dc22

2008046846

ISBN 978-0-547-08451-0 hardcover

ISBN 978-0-547-39853-2 paperback

eISBN 978-0-547-39413-8

v4.0820

FOR JAMES CROSS GIBLIN

Editor, mentor, and friend for thirty years

By the time Dad pulled into the driveway of our new house, all I wanted was to go inside and jump in the shower. If we had a shower, that is. Or even any water. Dad had warned us the house needed a lot of work, but the place was in worse shape than I’d imagined, old and run-down, paint peeling and flaking, a broken downspout dangling from the eaves, old papers littering the porch. The grass was at least two feet high, choked with towering thistles and milkweed. The bushes and trees had a wild, shaggy look. Mom, who’d described it as a quaint Victorian cottage with tons of potential, grew strangely quiet at the sight of it.

Dad took one look, sighed, and opened the car door. It seems the realtor forgot to have someone mow the lawn. He shook his head and sighed again. It’s a good thing I don’t start teaching until fall. We have some time to get this place in shape.

Please don’t tell me this is our house, I said to Mom. "We aren’t really going to live here. It’s Dad’s idea of a joke—right?"

Making a big effort to infuse her voice with enthusiasm, Mom said, For heaven’s sake, Logan, wait till it’s painted and the lawn’s cut. It will be adorable.

With a cynical sigh, I followed my parents toward the front door. A black mutt about the size of a German shepherd watched us from the porch. Mom edged behind Dad, but there was no need to be scared. The dog got to his feet and wagged his tail as if he was greeting old friends.

Does he come with the house? I asked.

Mom eyed the dog as if she suspected his friendliness was an act. I think he belongs to the people next door.

As if on cue, a boy appeared at the hedge separating his yard from ours. His name’s Bear, he said. Part rottweiler, part lab. He used to belong to the lady who lived in your house, but now he’s mine and Grandma’s.

The boy and I stared at each other over the low hedge. He was shorter than I was—younger, too. Probably no more than eleven. His straight yellow hair hung in his eyes and straggled down the back of his neck, his glasses were held together with tape, and he wore a faded T-shirt big enough for Dad that said, MENZER’S HARDWARE—IF WE DON’T HAVE IT, YOU DON’T NEED IT.

I’ve been waiting all day for you. The boy frowned as if he expected me to apologize for inconveniencing him. Grandma was sure you’d be here by noon, and it’s almost six o’clock. He held up a skinny arm to show me the time on an enormous watch that was way too big for his bony wrist.

I’d been trapped in the back seat of an un-air-conditioned car for almost two hours. The temperature was over ninety. I was hot, I was tired, I was in a really bad mood. I definitely did not feel like being friendly. Especially with such a weird-looking kid.

My name’s Arthur Jenkins, the boy went on. What’s yours?

Logan Forbes. I glanced over my shoulder, hoping to see Mom or Dad beckoning me to come inside and help unpack or something. But no one was in sight. Now, if I’d wanted to stay outside and talk to Arthur Jenkins, you can bet my parents would have been hollering at me to get my butt in the house.

How old are you? Arthur asked. Without giving me a chance to answer, he said, I’m almost twelve. Next fall I’ll be in sixth grade at Oak View Middle School. You can’t really see any oaks from there because they cut them all down to build a bunch of big expensive houses. Fair Oaks, it’s called, in memory of the trees, I guess. Mostly everyone our age lives there. They’re all snobs.

I turned thirteen last month, I said. I’ll be in seventh grade, a whole year ahead of you.

Arthur shrugged. We can be friends anyway. Living so close—that’s propinquity. He paused to see if I knew what propinquity meant. In case I didn’t, he added, That means proximity or nearness. Also kinship and similarity in nature. He flashed a crooked grin. I have the biggest vocabulary in my grade. I’m also the best speller and the best reader. I read five hundred and three books for last year’s read-a-thon. Not Dr. Seuss, either—thick ones, like the Harry Potter books. I won so much free pizza, I don’t even like the way it smells anymore.

While Arthur bragged, I looked longingly at the house. I could hear Dad hammering, but no one came to the door to call me inside.

Arthur pulled a stick of gum out of his pocket. Without offering me any, he stuffed it in his mouth. I watched him chew with lip-smacking relish, blow a big bubble, and suck it slowly back inside his mouth.

When he was ready to talk again, he said, You’ve got some nice furniture. Expensive, Grandma says. We watched the moving men carry it in yesterday. How big is your TV screen? I’ve never seen one that size except in a store down at Peckham Mall.

I shrugged and glanced at the house, still hoping someone would rescue me from Arthur.

Grandma and I didn’t think anybody was ever going to buy old Mrs. Donaldson’s place, Arthur went on. It’s been empty for almost three years. I guess the real estate company was hoping some folks from out of town like you-all would buy it without knowing what happened in it.

He paused to blow another bubble.

What do you mean? I asked, curious in spite of myself. What happened in our house?

He leaned across the hedge, his face so close I could smell his gum. "Mrs. Donaldson died there. . . . She was murdered."

Murdered? I stared at Arthur, shocked. No way.

Ask Grandma. She’s the one who found her. His eyes widened behind the smeared lenses of his glasses. In a low voice, he went on with what I hoped was a story he’d concocted to scare me.

One night, Bear woke up Grandma and me, barking like he’d gone crazy or something. We both kept hoping he’d shut up so we could go back to sleep, but he didn’t stop. Finally, Grandma went downstairs, and I followed her. Bear was at our back door, making a horrible fuss. Arthur paused and glanced at the dog, who’d raised his head at the mention of his name.

Mrs. Donaldson never let him out unless he was on a leash, Arthur went on. Not only that, his head was bleeding, like somebody had whacked him hard enough to kill an ordinary dog. He paused again, and I found myself staring at Bear, who was now scratching his ear.

Arthur sighed. Grandma and I knew something was wrong. It was one of those weird feelings—you know what I mean?

I nodded. Like in a movie, when the music gets scary and you can tell something bad is going to happen?

Exactly. Arthur crossed his arms across his skinny chest and took a deep breath. Grandma told me to stay inside while she ran to Mrs. Donaldson’s house. The back door was wide open, and the kitchen was a wreck. Drawers emptied out, stuff strewn everywhere, furniture turned over. Bear ran down the cellar steps, whining and crying, and Grandma followed him. Mrs. Donaldson was lying on the floor. Dead.

Despite the warm summer sun, goose bumps raced up and down my arms. Maybe she just fell down the steps, maybe—

Even the police said it was murder, Arthur interrupted. Somebody broke in and killed her. Then they tore the whole house apart—not just the kitchen, but every room, including the attic. They were looking for money, I guess.

I glanced at Bear, who’d gone back to sleep on our porch. Is he really her dog?

Mrs. Donaldson loved that dog, and he loved her. He must have done his best to protect her. But . . . Arthur shrugged. The cops were going to take him to the pound, but Grandma said we’d keep him. The sad thing is he spends more time at your house than ours. I guess he’s hoping Mrs. Donaldson will come back someday.

While Arthur talked, I found myself staring at my new home. Before I’d learned its gruesome secret, it had seemed like an ordinary little house, kind of homely and run-down. Now it had a sinister look, as if it were hiding behind the overgrown trees and bushes, keeping dark, scary secrets.

Our back door opened then, and Mom leaned out. Logan, how about giving us some help in here?

At the same moment, a woman appeared on Arthur’s porch. Like him, she was skinny as a stick. Her hair was blond or white, I wasn’t sure which, and it stuck up like a cockatoo’s crest. Her eyebrows were black, drawn on a little too high, which gave her face a startled look. I didn’t have any idea how old she was—anywhere from middle-aged to ancient was the closest I could guess.

Hello, there, she called to me. Welcome to Bealesville. I’m Arthur’s granny, Darla Jenkins. Tell your folks I’ll come on over for a visit after they get settled.

To Arthur she said, Dinner’s ready, Artie. Come in and wash up.

See you later. Without another word, Arthur ran to his house, which was smaller and in worse need of paint than ours. Taking the sagging steps two at a time, he yanked open the screen door and disappeared.

In the sudden silence, I heard his grandmother say, Arthur Jenkins, how often must I tell you not to slam that door!

I headed for our house, eager to confront Mom and Dad with the truth about our new home.

As soon as I entered the kitchen, I blurted out, Why didn’t you tell me the old woman who used to live in this house was murdered here?

Mom looked up from the pots and pans she was trying to organize. What are you talking about?

Who told you that? Dad asked at the same time.

The boy next door. Arthur. His grandmother found the body. Down there. I pointed to the cellar door. At the bottom of the steps.

Mrs. Donaldson did die of a fall down those steps, Dad said slowly. But she wasn’t murdered, Logan.

We thought it might worry you to know someone died here, Mom put in. We should have known you’d hear it from somebody else—with embellishments.

Worry me? I repeated. "It’s bad enough she died, but she was murdered, Mom. K-I-L-L-E-D. That definitely worries me!"

She wasn’t— Mom began, but the doorbell interrupted her.

That must be the pizza I ordered, Dad said.

We followed him to the front door, and, sure enough, a guy holding a pizza box stood on the porch. While Dad went through the business end of the delivery, the pizza guy said, I’m glad to see somebody’s finally moved into poor old Mrs. Donaldson’s house. It’s been empty for a long time. I guess it was hard to sell, considering what happened—

Yes, the place has really been neglected, Dad broke in before the delivery guy could finish. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

If you need any help, just let me know, the pizza guy said. My name’s Johnny O’Neil. He scribbled something on a card from the pizza place and handed it to Dad. Here’s my phone number. I work nights at Golden Joe’s Pizza Go-Go, so I’m free in the daytime.

How are you with a lawn mower? Dad gestured at the weedy yard.

No problem, Johnny answered. I can cut the grass tomorrow, if you like. Twenty dollars front and back, guaranteed neat job. I used to do it for Mrs. Donaldson before—

Great. Dad grinned. How about ten A.M.?

It’s a deal.

We watched Johnny run to his car, which sported a big pizza sign on the roof, and drive away fast. No doubt some hungry family was wondering where their pizza was.

Why do you think Johnny said ‘poor old Mrs. Donaldson?’ I asked Mom.

She handed me a slice of pizza loaded with all the things I love—mushrooms, sausage, pepperoni, and extra cheese—and shrugged. "Probably because she

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