By Phil Mann

In L.L. Thrasher's CHARLIE'S BONES, ghost Charlie Bilbo enlists dropout Lizbet Lange to help him solve his own murder. Charlie is back in CHARLIE'S WEB, the sequel. This time, Charlie wants Lizbet to help solve the quarter-century-old murder of a ten-year-old girl who was apparently kidnapped while trick-or-treating on Halloween night in 1973. Lizbet would prefer, however, to get along with her life, which includes dating Jonathan Dillon, who, in addition to being a police officer, is Charlie's son, and working toward her high school equivalency degree. Lizbet ultimately agrees to help Charlie, much to the consternation of the local chief of police, a man who owes his station to Lizbet's actions in the first novel. Though any novel involving a ghost as a central character is of necessity one that involves the supernatural, CHARLIE'S WEB is as grounded as its predecessor. The mystery involves no supernatural aspects, and Lizbet's ultimate solution is based her groundwork and mental efforts. CHARLIE'S WEB does not quite equal the original for charm, but Thrasher (CAT'S-PAW, INC., DOGSBODY, INC.) is an adept writer, and CHARLIE'S WEB has its own charm and is a great deal of fun.