Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Secret of Laurel Oaks-Lois Ruby

The Secret of Laurel Oaks
Lois Ruby
Starscape (Tor), Sep 2 2008, $17.95
ISBN 9780765313669

Since mom is giving a presentation at the Biophysical Anthropology Conference on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, her entire family decided to attend. Besides mom, dad, and their two children (fourteen year old Gabe and thirteen year old Lila) leave their home in Albuquerque to stay for a few nights at creepy allegedly haunted (that is what the Smithsonian web site claims) Laurel Oaks B&B.

The ghost is Daphne an antebellum young slave accused of murdering her Master Judge Nethercott’s wife and two daughters Molly and Alice in 1840 at Laurel Oaks Plantation; Daphne died in the nearby Mississippi. She has never moved on because she is obsessed to know what truly happened on that horrific day when four females died. She believes that Lila is the person she has waited for to help her investigate the murders.

The supernatural aspects of the tale has been done a zillion ties, but is somewhat refreshed with non-graphic implications of the uglier realism like molestation and rape on a slave plantation. The story line rotates perspective between the two teen female stars with Daphne’s occurring in 1840 and the more fascinating of the two “tales”. Young adult fans will enjoy Lila’s cold case murder investigation.

Harriet Klausner

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