ISBN 0590434705 - If Elmore hasn't followed up with other Lucy and Susannah stories, she should! Generally, kids' mysteries clear up easily and early, but this one was good - and mysterious - all the way to the end!
Susannah considers herself an amateur detective and she brings her friend, Lucy, along for the ride. Unfortunately, there's just not a lot of "ride" for them - until Mr Withers disappears. Mr Withers is the last of a once-wealthy family. Juliet, a classmate of the girls, calls him her grandfather, although they're not really related, and Juliet is very worried. Using her sleuthing skills, Susannah helps to locate him... too late. He's had a heart attack while traveling and died in the hospital. Sound like the end? Just the beginning! He's promised Juliet that he'll be leaving her something when he dies, but his will leaves his house to his niece, and his house was all he had left. A man who keeps his promises, Mr Withers wouldn't have lied to Juliet, but if he had nothing TO leave her... well, that's a mystery. Susannah's sure the answers are in the house. Now all they have to do is find them before the house is sold!
While this is going on, Lucy's father is dating a woman named Mae that Lucy's never met and doesn't seem to approve of, anyway. Lucy's got an enemy, too - Knievel (really) Jones. The two of them are pretty mean to each other which, considering the ending and the potential it has, might be perfectly fitting.
If it weren't for the cover, and one comment by Juliet's mother, you'd never know that Susannah was black. To me, this is a nice thing, because it indicates that everyone sees her as a smart kid, not a black kid - her race has nothing to do with her brains, or her friendships. On the other hand, if they never really mention it, how does a kid really get to see that point? Readers might not even get the joke when the girls tell someone that they're sisters. All in all, great book for young mystery lovers, and even for adults!