The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge
by Linda Covella
by Linda Covella
GENRE: Middle grade mystery
In the rainy forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the small town of Brookdale, in the long-uninhabited Pebble Brook Lodge...exist four ghosts who stand in the way of Pepper’s search for the truth.
In this sequel to the award-winning book The Castle Blues Quake, Pepper Connelly’s chef parents have taken Pepper and her little sister Sage on another restaurant venture to renovate the Pebble Brook Lodge.
One of the unique features of the lodge is a creek running through the large dining room. Pepper learns that, in 1966, a thirteen-year-old girl, Karen, drowned in the creek. Her ten-year-old brother, Willie Hullett, was accused of causing her death. , and his mother and townspeople still believe he was responsible. Willie, now middle-aged, lives with his mother in a cabin in the woods. Mrs. Hullett has never forgiven Willie for her beloved daughter’s death.
As Pepper secretly becomes acquainted with Willie and sees his gentle nature and his beautiful life-like carvings, she’s convinced he was not responsible for his sister’s death.
With the help of her friend Ally Cressman, Pepper sets out to prove Willie’s innocence. With Ouija board sessions, hauntings by four different ghosts, and time travel to 1939 and 1966, Pepper discovers there’s more to Karen’s death than she—or anyone in Brookdale—would have ever guessed.
Barefoot, I tiptoed out the door and dragged my hand along the balcony railing as I made my way to the stairs. My parents had left on a small lamp that sat on one of the dining tables. Glints of light from the lamp danced on the creek. It was sort of cool having a creek inside your dining room.
Suddenly, a circle of ripples spread across the water, as if a pebble had dropped in it. Then something white and round appeared in the water. It rose closer to the surface. Eyes. Nose. Mouth. Again! Only this time, I really did see a face, a girl’s face, staring up at me. Then her whole body came to the surface, arms and legs floating stiffly, rocking in the flowing creek. Her long hair streamed behind her. I gripped the railing and squeezed my eyes shut, hoping when I opened them she’d be gone. But she was still there. Then, her mouth opened wide. No sound came out, but her eyes—pleading, begging—locked onto mine. Her hand reached up to me, her fingers stretched, as if she were trying to touch me. Should I go to her? Should I get Mom and Dad? Should I run back to my room, dive under my covers, and forget the whole thing?
Before I could decide, she sank back into the water, lower, lower, until just the tips of her fingers were visible. Then, she was gone.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Linda Covella’s varied background and education (an AA degree in art, an AS degree in mechanical drafting & design, and a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.
Her first official publication was a restaurant review column for a local newspaper. But when she published articles for various children’s magazines, she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She hopes to bring to children the feelings books gave her when she was a child: the worlds they opened, the things they taught, the feelings they expressed.
She is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She lives in Santa Cruz with her husband, Charlie, and dog, Ginger.
No matter what new paths Linda may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.
Learn more about Linda and her writing at her website or the following links:
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The Ghosts of Pebble Brook Lodge by Linda Covella is a young adult story that continues the ‘Ghost Whisperer’ series which centers around Kayanne (Pepper) Connelly’s experiences at the aforementioned lodge. The thirteen-year-old not only has to deal with her younger sister Sage, the family having moved across the country, and the rundown lodge they have ended up in temporarily, but also the mystery of the ghosts who have something to do with the tragic death of a young girl many years prior. Pepper’s prior experience with a ghost aids her as mysterious experiences and contact with various folks (dead and alive) lead her to search for the truth of what happened. The only problem is, not everyone wants the truth to be revealed and it may become dangerous for her and her family if Pepper continues to search.
This fun and eerie story started off fairly slow and ponderously but it definitely picked up and increased in intensity by the time Pepper’s friends and bandmates show up. The whimsical elements, such as their chef parents naming their children after spices or a band called The Nonmall Oddballs, are nicely contrasted with the supernatural interactions and the mystery that is going to take quite a bit of courage to solve. I really enjoyed this author’s story, Cryptogram Chaos, and I am delighted to say that I enjoyed the hair-raising adventures that Pepper experiences in this tale. I am curious about what happened in the prior book in the series but I had no trouble reading this one as a stand-alone story. Fair warning, there always seems to be some kind of meal being prepared, so I was craving some of the older dishes that are highlighted in the story, but it just added to the atmosphere!
A copy of this title was provided to me for review.