Thursday, January 11, 2018


The last and most recent Neighborlee, Ohio book, leading up to the release this week of DORM RATS, the newest Neighborlee book -- which also happens to be the sequel to this week's Book of the Week.


 Miss Angela was spreading cinders on the flagstone path in front of Divine's Emporium, outside of the wrought iron fence, when we ran up the long street. She must have heard us from the moment we turned onto the street, because she stopped and put the bucket down inside the fence and then turned and watched us coming, her arms wrapped tight around herself. The image is still strong in my mind this many years later. The closer we came, the sadder her expression grew, so that by the time we were about ten yards away, we had slowed down. The last thing I wanted in the world was to disappoint Miss Angela, and I was sure Kurt felt the same. By the time we got to within maybe ten feet of her, I was wishing I could turn around and run back to NCH and make Miss Angela forget we had come there. She had to know we were supposed to be heading home for lunch, or at least I was. Kurt packed his lunch like all the other NCH kids did in cold or rainy weather, so he could eat at school.

"I'm so sorry," Miss Angela said, and went down on one knee, holding her arms open wide for us. We ran to her and I nearly cried from relief when she hugged us.

"So we're not dead meat?" Kurt said, when she released us and gestured for us to go ahead of her through the gate.

"Not on my watch. No, you two are in very good odor. Although… Well, we'll just have to think of a totally reasonable cover story and make it true. That's one of the laws of the guardians of Neighborlee. While we have many secrets, there are many truths that the ordinary people of this town don't need to know, for their own good and their own mental wellbeing. Can we truly call anyone ordinary who lives in Neighborlee?" She frowned slightly as we trooped up the cinder- strewn path to the front porch of Divine's. Then her frown turned to a smile, she winked, and chuckled as the door swung open while we were three steps away.

"Did you do that?" Kurt said in a loud whisper. "I didn't feel it."

"Ah ha!" Miss Angela nudged our shoulders, to propel us forward through the door. "Did you discover another facet of your gifts, Lanie?"

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