Author(s): Katie Jones
9-12 Years Middle Readers
Sophie Weston is a 16-year-old girl living in Brooklyn, NYC whose life is about to take an unexpected turn. Her father inherits a historic mansion in the Hamptons from a distant relative and her parents decide to uproot their life to move there. During her childhood Sophie would visit the house and its residents - eccentric owner Poppy Farrell who has recently passed away; Thomas, the melancholy gardener; Marcel, the cheerful cook and Clara the ill-tempered housekeeper.The visits to Poppy and her house stopped abruptly two years earlier and strangely Sophie doesn't seem to have clear memories of her time in the house. As she tries to make herself at home in the dilapidated old house, Sophie has confusing encounters with the boy that lives next door who seems to be scared of her. She also begins to have visions of a boy, around the same age as her. After a life-threatening incident she discovers that the boy and the neighbor were once her friends.The boy, Sam, is now a ghost and he reveals to Sophie that Poppy did not die of old age but was murdered. In trying to discover who in the house could have been responsible for Poppy's death, Sophie soon learns all the residents of the house are keeping secrets and so is the house. Sophie finds some of the rooms in the house are kept sealed to prevent evil spirits from inside these rooms from being released. She also finds a key that can release the spirits of those who have passed over. But the key goes missing and Sophie suspects the same person who is responsible for Poppy's death has also taken the key. Her life is complicated further by her developing feelings for Sam and her neighbor Charlie. Sophie has to uncover who is responsible for Poppy's death and stop them from using the key to release the spirits before the school Halloween dance is held at Sophie's house.