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By Mary Downing Hahn

A modern mystery by means of the bestselling writer of The outdated Willis Place.

Two 13-year-old boys, Arthur and Logan, got down to clear up the secret of a homicide that came about a few years in the past within the outdated condo Logan's kin has simply moved into. the lads' quest takes them to the top and lowest degrees of society of their small Maryland city, and at last to a derelict entertainment park that's supposedly closed for the season.

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Via grade tuition, I had found out he was once a dope. ” Out of city, path 23 changed into a slim street with extra curves and hills than a curler coaster. vehicles and autos whizzed earlier as I struggled uphill and wobbled down, braking to maintain from going too quickly. I couldn’t know the way Arthur controlled to get prior to me on a three-speed motorbike. Worse but, the road’s shoulder used to be slender, overgrown with weeds, and affected by stuff thrown from automobile windows—beer and soda cans, bottles, plastic baggage, fast-food wrappings. We needed to trip at the fringe of the asphalt more often than not. homes bought farther aside, and shortly we have been in farm kingdom. Rolling hills stretched away towards the mountains. Cows lay within the color, chewing their cuds, having a look considerate. at times a puppy barked. The air smelled of honeysuckle and minimize grass and diesel fumes. If it hadn’t been for the hills and the site visitors and the warmth, it should were a good journey. After an hour or extra, we reached the pinnacle of a hill. lower than us I observed a pretend stone fortress wall with towers. close to the line, a life-size statue of previous King Cole perched on most sensible of a tall signal that stated, welcome to the magic woodland. The statue’s paint was once light, his physique was once cracked, and he was once lacking an arm. the opposite arm pointed at a sagging crimson gate. Over it, a tilting eco-friendly dragon, minus a tail, stood defend, grinning a goofy grin. at the gate, an indication riddled with bullet holes acknowledged, closed for the season. Arthur sped down the hill, maintaining either thin hands above his head, whatever I didn’t dare do, and yelling, “Wahooo! ” “Are you loopy? ” I hollered, yet he used to be already on the backside, screeching to a cease within the weedy parking zone. The gate to the park used to be padlocked, yet Arthur led me to a slim course operating alongside a sagging chain-link fence published without TRESPASSING symptoms and purple notices caution that the valuables used to be condemned as harmful. Hiding our motorcycles within the trees, we the fence into the woods, attempting to see what used to be at the different facet. It was once no need. A wild eco-friendly vine draped everything—the fence, bushes, cellphone poles. “It’s a jungle,” I acknowledged. “Kudzu,” Arthur acknowledged. “It grows everywhere every little thing. ” Warming to the topic, he elaborated. “Kudzu, the killer plant! Engulfs complete structures, cities, trains, vehicles. It’s unstoppable, indestructible, decided to overcome the area. Soon—” “Stop! ” I gave Arthur a shove, and he staggered backward, guffawing. “It’s true,” he stated. “Once it will get begun, kudzu takes over. Grandma knew this guy who by no means left his residence, too lazy to do whatever yet lie round all day. good, at some point he made up our minds he simply needed to visit the shop, but if he opened his door, all he observed used to be kudzu. He didn’t have a hatchet or a series observed so he used to be trapped. lovely quickly the kudzu oozed in lower than the door and during the home windows. Now you’d by no means understand a home used to be there. ” “What occurred to the guy? ” Arthur shrugged. “I bet he’s nonetheless in there. ” “That’s now not true,” I acknowledged, pissed off at myself for nearly believing him. “Ask Grandma. You didn’t think me in regards to the homicide, both.

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