This Ghostwriter mystery is an enjoyable adventure for any fans of the smash PBS hit TV series. While the spooky suspense of a haunted place does resemble the typical plot of a Scooby Doo story, the Ghostwriter team doesn't run around in circles yelling "ZOINKS!!" or accidentally fall down the stairs to find a clue. They get down to business right away with their sharp detective skills, notebooks, and courage.
The six members of the team-Jamal, Lenni, Alex, Gaby, Tina, and Rob-are going camping with Lenni's father and Grandma Jenkins far into the mountains. They discover the place is rumored to be haunted by Ed Hunt and his dog Buck, who lived back in the Great Depression. When Lenni's father disappears, the team goes looking for him deep into the woods where more secrets are revealed. Strange things are going on. The sound of a dog barking breaks the night silence. Gaby's pen washes up near the rivor. Smoke signals appear in the sky. Is Ed Hunt still alive? Who's the stranger in the park? What does the message in red mean? Why did Rob vanish? Can that huge terrible dog chasing Gaby and Tina really be Buck?
The book is divided into two segments of Alex and Gaby's person diaries. Half of the book is upside down so you can't read ahead for spoilers. I'd recommend reading Alex's POV first before flipping over to reading Gaby's diary for better clarification. It helps the readers put the two stories together and realize where the problems are coming from.
Of course, the mystery couldn't be solved without Ghostwriter. The elusive spirit who can't read or talk, only communicate through words, is there with the kids all the way through. From transmitting distress calls to picking up Morse code, Ghostwriter's abilities certainly help the team get out of a jam or two. It's a great story, one that I wish could have been incorporated into the TV series.