13 year-old Ali finds herself in the middle of a mystery when she finds an old photo of her mother and Aunt Dulcie at their family’s lake house when they were children. The photo is ripped where another little girl was. Just her arm and hair are visible and she is identified as T on the back of the photo. When she asks her mother and Dulcie about it they deny any knowledge although they are clearly hiding something.
Soon she goes away with her aunt to babysit her 5 year old cousin Emma at the same lake house in Maine where the photo was taken. Soon they meet a little girl who befriends Emma but torments her at the same time. She creates conflict with everyone in the family and no one seems to know where she’s from or ever heard of her. Sissy hints to the girls about a tragedy that happened long ago involving Ali’s mother and aunt that was never solved. This is when things start to get dangerous.
This is a great mystery and ghost story because Ali learns the truth and solves the mystery bit by bit. This story is suspenseful and creepy but nothing gross or horrific happens aside from the tragedy of the past. Everyone manages to come to terms with the past and resolve what has happened.
The only criticism I have is that it is very similar to “Wait ‘Til Helen Comes” which is a previous book by Mary Downing Hahn, although I think Deep and Dark and Dangerous is less scary. If your kids are interested is scary stories this is a great one although I made my son read it during the day or else he wouldn’t have been able to fall asleep!