Fervor for the Civil War never dies; neither can one of its soldiers.
When Lori Chase and her hospitality-industry–driven parents move the family from a snazzy Philadelphia hotel to a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, it’s not long before the 16-year-old begins seeing a dashing yet melancholy Union soldier (although the book’s title implies the opposite) named Nathaniel Pierce. And in just a few days’ time, Lori not only agrees to solve the mystery of Nathaniel’s death, but falls deeply in love with the soldier. Competing theories, involving treason, a Hatfield-McCoy–type family feud and a missing ring once owned by Abraham Lincoln, as well as numerous historical elements, keep the teen’s predictable, first-person, present-tense narration from growing stale. Also driving the tension are Nathaniel’s July 3 deadline (or he’ll have to wait again until next year’s re-enactment of the battle) and the unyielding attention of Evan, the very much alive B&B groundskeeper for the summer, who offers to help with the case. But Lori’s not the only one looking for clues. The dubious (and very much stereotypical) elderly housekeeping couple, Old Dryden and his wife, Bertha, lend a Scooby Doo feeling to the story (think of the show’s oft-used phrase: “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids”).
A squeaky-clean romance for the youngest end of YA or readers who want nothing objectionable when it comes to love stories. (Ghost story. 12 & up)