THE HAUNTING OF CABIN 13 by Kristi D. Holl


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A well-crafted, appealing mystery, featuring experienced detective Laurie Allen, 13, and a spunky hero, Matt Greene, 14, who, though his legs are paralyzed, catches the villain by knocking him over with his wheelchair and grabbing him firmly by the belt buckle. Laurie, her parents, brother Ricky, 8, and best friend, Jenny Brindle, spend a week vacationing in Backbone State Park, staying in Cabin 13, which is ""haunted"" by the ""ghost"" of Eleanor, a 13-year-old medal-winning swimmer who inexplicably drowned in the park the previous August. Laurie, with Matt's help (he's staying with his family in the adjacent cabin), discovers that Eleanor's older sister, Jacqui, has been leaving notes from Eleanor (""Don't stay here! This cabin is haunted--by me!"") because she hoped to reawaken interest in her sister's death. Laurie names gung-ho park-ranger Dean Roberts as the bad guy: ""We could put Backbone State Park on the map if [Indian] artifacts. . .were ever discovered [here] ."" Ranger Roberts admits that Eleanor tripped and hit her head on her paddleboat while running away from him and drowned before he could help her; she had seen him burying artifacts he had bought from a dealer and hoped to pass off as indigenous to Backbone. Unusually well-paced, with effective red herrings and winning characters. Matt is so likable that though his paralysis causes practical problems--how to maneuver his wheelchair in and out of the cabin, what to do when the canoe he's in seems to be sinking--it is no barrier to friendship. (""For a boy, Matt was pretty easy to talk to."") Readers will want Matt to star in a book of his own.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Atheneum