Genre: MG Mystery w/paranormal elements
When 12-year-old Charlie stumbles over a dead girl in the cemetery behind his house, he works with the girl’s ghost to prove his grave-robbing father is actually innocent of her murder.
When Dad told me that burying Mom in the backyard wasn’t technically illegal, I believed him. The Cranbrook County Cemetery was just over the back fence, after all. Still – all those dead people in the cemetery had nice, fancy headstones to mark their passing. Mom just had a wooden cross Dad had made from the wood in Rusty’s old dog house. I’d lost a dog and a mom in the same year. Wow. Clearly, those pesky best son/best pet owner awards were not in my future.
I stared out my bedroom window at the place Mom lay buried, while I listened to my dad and aunt arguing in the front room. Since Grandma and Grandpa had died before I was born, the only person that asked about Mom was her sister, my Aunt Jen. She didn’t come around much, but when Aunt Jen did – Dad banished me to my room so they could “talk”. I didn’t see how they got much talking done when Aunt Jen was screaming a long string of swear words loud enough to wake the dead.
It’s not like Dad killed Mom or anything. She’d had cancer. When the hospital bills wiped out their savings, Dad traded his “wares” to a street vendor for pain pills. Mom popped those pills like popcorn at the movies and just sort of faded away. Dad buried her in the backyard, he’d said, because he wanted to keep her close. I knew it was because we were broke.