Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 2011)
Buy the book:Amazon
A mysterious adventure of self-discovery that reveals shocking secrets!
It is 1905 and young Suzanna works at her family's inn in Loch Harbor, New Brunswick, where she is trained to be a well-mannered hostess and a charming lady. Suzanna has other ideas for her future--she wants to be a detective. When a young guest goes missing on a stormy summer night, Suzanna's famous detective uncle, and idol, comes to solve the case. But Suzanna learns that not everything is as it seems. With a little help from her friends, can she solve the mystery of the missing girl before her uncle gives up?
In this scene, Suzanna stumbles upon a mystery inside the underground tunnel running between her parents’ hotel and the servants’ house. It’s dark in the tunnel, thunder rumbles overhead, and Suzanna soon realizes she’s not alone in the tunnel…
My hands searched for the knob, a glass nub barely visible even in full light. My fingers found it and gave it a twist. A musty odor hit my nostrils and I wrinkled my nose. I descended the short flight of curving steps into the dark tunnel. The darkness was palpable, eerie. I could hear the muffled storm through the cement ceiling and few feet of earth, and when I came off the last step, my shoe landed in a puddle. The rain had seeped through thin cracks in the walls, pooling in spots along the uneven floor.
I walked briskly, running my hand along the damp wall to ground myself. It was raw and cold, and within a few moments the teeny hairs on the back of my neck perked. I slowed my pace, all my senses instantly alert.
I wasn’t alone.
The tunnel made me blind, but I still felt the presence of another person. Was that possible? Trust your intuition. One of Lucy’s tarot cards had said something along those lines. But those cards…tarot readings. They were for amusement and nothing to be taken seriously. I hadn’t even bothered to write in my notebook about the four cards she’d flipped. I pushed down my shoulders and went forward a few more steps until the oppressive weight of some invisible warning slowed me down.
I held my breath and listened to thunder, the drip of water as it trickled through a crack somewhere. A splashing of feet through puddles came from up ahead, close to the exit door leading into the servants’ house. Someone truly was in front of me in the tunnel and, like me, without a lamp or candle to light the way. I opened my mouth to call out to whoever was there.
The rattling of the wooden steps leading to the servants’ house interrupted me, and then the door swung wide. A flash of lightning flooded the tunnel, blinding me. Tears filled my eyes and I blinked away a school of white halos to regain my vision. As it started to return, I saw in the doorway the silhouette of two skinny legs and a scallop-trimmed nightdress, blacked out against another dazzling burst of lightning. Whoever it was, was jerked to the side, pulled hard by someone I couldn’t see, and then the door slammed.
Blackness soothed my eyes once more but did nothing to calm my nerves. The skinny legs…they’d belonged to a child.
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