Moving to a new town and trying to fit into a different school is frightening and something Kathy does not want, but she has little choice. For one thing, she has an oddly formed hand that makes life difficult for her on a practical and emotional level each and marks her has different or weird to others. Yet, one girl, Martha, looks past it to befriend her. Such considerations take a backseat to murder when a woman who was kind to Kathy is murdered and the two girls begin trying to find out what really happened, no matter what the danger, for as they uncover secrets, the peril the young sleuths face increases.
While the story retains an innocence that is appealing, it still addresses very mature subjects and does not talk down to its target audience. If your pre-teen has read every Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys, and so on and is looking for something new, they will not go wrong in picking this up. Even if they have not, they need to read this.