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Famous last words

It is not often that I get to change my opinion about the works of an author, but I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. The author had also written Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, which I had also reviewed, but this book doesn’t have any of the issues that I had found in that book – no teenage drinking or sex. It is an excellently written, squeaky clean, ghost/murder mystery for middle school and high school readers.

Willa is not happy about moving to Los Angeles with her mother and new stepfather.  But after her father’s death, she is determined to try to help her mother be happy again.  Little does she know that she will be quickly involved in a murder mystery, be visited by a ghost, and be in danger of being killed.

Willa sets off an unexpected chain of events when she tries to contact the spirit of her father because she wants to tell him she was sorry she killed him.  When she begins to see the ghost, she doesn’t know if she should tell anyone about it; and, who could she tell: her mother, who is trying to be the perfect wife to her new husband? The new step-father, Jonathon, who is caught up in his work? Reed, his good-looking assistant, who seems to like her? Marnie, her new best friend, who may not be very trustworthy? Or, Wyatt, the overachieving boy, who is obsessed with a serial killer?  Her life depends on the choice she makes.

If you want a hang-on-to-your-seat mystery, this is for you.  It incorporates the last lines of some very famous movies and may very well be movie material itself, even though it is written for young adult readers.