Fifteen-year-old Christine is visiting her eccentric great-aunt in historic Witcombe, where a pickpocket has been victimizing tourists. Aunt Maude owns an antique store and also runs the town’s ghost walk, which gives Christine the opportunity to meet local characters and visitors, including a mysterious young man who seems to know far too much about the crimes. When the pickpocket targets Aunt Maude’s store, Christine is determined to find out who is behind the thefts. Her search takes her through the nooks and crannies of the quaint town full of stories, and she unearths more than one surprise.
The spooky abandoned house on this book's cover suggests something a bit more sinister than what's going on in Butcher's fast-paced addition to the Orca Currents line of books, written at a third-grade level. Fifteen-year-old Christine is eager to spend a two-week summer vacation with her eccentric great-aunt Maude in tiny Witcombe, British Columbia, where Maude owns an antique shop. Christine's stay kicks off with a bang, when she is sucked into a mystery involving a series of local thefts and a cute lifeguard at the town pool. A breezy pseudo-Scooby-Doo vibe whisks readers forward as Christine does clumsy surveillance and suspects are considered, until a humorously unlikely culprit is unearthed. Butcher has just scratched the surface of her likeable and entertaining cast, whose future adventures would be welcome. Simultaneously available: Siege by Jacqueline Pearce. Ages 10 14.