Clare’s paranormal ability to experience the past when she touches clothing involves her in a murder mystery.
A serial killer may be stalking Winston, Clare’s tiny northern California beach town. A boy may have been murdered during the Fourth of July holiday last year. Now, a girl, Amanda, has disappeared. Clare and her mom have returned to their ancestral home in Winston, where Clare has made one friend. Rachel helps sell the outfits Clare designs from bits of vintage clothing. The more she learns about Rachel, however, the more Clare wonders if the girl is stable. Clare’s isolation continues within her own family, as she quarrels with her mom. Meanwhile, other families appear to be breaking up all over town. When Clare acquires a torn jacket, she touches it and has an alarming vision that she’s certain will somehow lead her to Amanda. She also falls for Jack, Amanda’s old boyfriend, who was accused of the crime at the time. Can she trust him? As Clare delves more deeply into the tangled relationships of the townsfolk, she pieces the mystery together just as she pieces old clothing together, and she thinks she knows whodunit. If she’s wrong, though, she may become the next victim. Littlefield writes a nifty little mystery and hits the right buttons for the current paranormal craze. Throwing in fashion design and a hot romance with a hunky bad-boy type also boosts interest, but well-drawn family and friend relationships form the heart of this story. The author plays fair by sprinkling in some teensy but real clues that should steer alert readers toward the solution.
Intriguing and entertaining. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)