cover image The Secret of the Haunted Doghouse the Ketchup Sisters

The Secret of the Haunted Doghouse the Ketchup Sisters

Judith Hollands, Holland. Aladdin Paperbacks, $2.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-66812-9

Mystery stories with a comical bent are certain to entice young readers, as this ``spirited'' offering will exemplify. Trouble begins anew for Monica Tully and Dee Ellen Zeller when the Zellers move into a reputedly haunted house. The girls, amateur detectives who have affirmed their partnership with ketchup instead of blood, try to ignore the weird stories concerning the place. But one night, Dee Ellen sees the ghost of Rocky, a cocker spaniel who died 50 years ago. How the Ketchup Sisters achieve fame and glory after solving another difficult case is brightly told in the third book of this series. A few of the running gags wear thin (such as Dee Ellen's endless supply of commercially endorsed clothing), but the plot has a generous amount of suspense to compensate. Hollands allows some hokeyness to creep into her writing, yet the material is a diverting showcase for her storytelling ability. Ages 6-10. (May)