Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Publication Date: August 17th 2021
Genres: Horror, Thriller, Young Adult
An intriguing and atmospheric tale of murder and mayhem” ~Booklist
Lindsey Gillett is missing.
And shes not the first girl at Waverly Prep to vanish without a trace.
To help cope with the tragedy, new history teacher Aubrey LaRoux organizes a small student investigation team. But when the members start turning up dead across campus, Aubrey suspects theres more going on than anyone is willing to admit.
The murdered students all had something in common with Lindsey. They shared a secret. And what they uncovered could threaten the future of the historic school.
At Waverly Prep, someone wants to keep the past buried—along with anyone who gets in their way.
Bella waited at the base of the stairs, scouring the eager expressions of students as they dashed for their classes. She didn’t share their enthusiasm. For Bella, high school was an endless parade of stupid subjects she vowed never to use again.
But the journey to the battlefield, the way Aubrey had fielded her questions, and her wavering belief in the woman’s guilt improved her mood. Charged with new ideas, Aubrey had been a breath of fresh air, and an ally Bella hadn’t known she needed.
Jenna approached her from the side of the hall, displaying her usual vague smirk. Bella’s dislike for the competitive girl still bubbled, but she had learned to put it aside. It was something she chalked up to Lindsey and the way she had brought them all together. Lindsey had introduced the misfits and eventually made them fast friends. How she had pulled off that little miracle kept Bella up some nights.
“What do you think?” Jenna asked.
“I’m not sure she did it.” Bella eyed a small clique of freshmen as they walked past. “She’s just as curious as we are.”
Jenna glared at the young girls. “So, what do we do?”
“Why do you delight in scaring freshmen?”
Jenna shrugged, looking even scarier. “Every single one of those girls arrived at the stable thinking they were expert horsewomen. Five minutes in the ring showed they were nothing but wannabees.”
“We can’t all be Sybil Ludington.”
Jenna cast her disparaging gaze at Bella. “Who is Sybil Ludington?”
“The female Paul Revere.” Bella quietly sighed, amazed at how little students absorbed. “Do you read your history assignments or just cheat on the tests?”
Cal appeared out of nowhere, scrambling toward them from behind a few basketball players.
“She didn’t crack. Maybe she didn’t have anything to do with it.”
Jenna faced Cal, folding her arms. “Do you know who Sybil Ludington is?”
Cal volleyed his gaze between the two young women. “What does the female version of Paul Revere have to do with whether we can trust Ms. LaRoux?”
Jenna rocked her head back, grimacing. “History geeks.”
London slid in next to them. She slinked closer to the oak railing as she eyed the last dregs of students hurrying to class. “That didn’t go as expected. She seemed pretty composed.”
Hartley arrived and crowded in next to London. “I think we need to stop considering Ms. LaRoux as a suspect.”
“No way.” Jenna sneered at Hartley. “When questioned about her relationship with Marjorie, she admitted to being bullied. That’s a motive for murder. We can’t let our guard down.”
“You bully me,” Cal said to Jenna. “And I haven’t killed you yet.”
Bella snickered. He had a point. Jenna and her caustic attitude had rubbed everyone the wrong way in school. It had amazed her when Lindsey had taken the rebellious girl under her wing.
Lindsey had done the same with her. A loner who preferred a book to the company of others, Bella had found Lindsey’s friendship a welcomed change from the hours she spent alone in her room. When she’d met the group Lindsey had created, she wondered what the five could have in common. Still, Lindsey had been kind to her. Bella missed her smile, her laugh, and the way she had listened to her ideas. It was why she’d agreed to go along with Hartley’s crazy plan.
Lindsey had wanted to find her sister’s killer, and Bella wanted to discover who had taken Lindsey. She owed her friend that and a whole lot more.
The final bell traveled down the hall, but no one moved. Classes and studying seemed irrelevant next to murder and cover-ups.
Hartley leaned in and whispered, “Let’s just keep pushing with our investigation. If she didn’t do it, we should know soon enough.”
London frowned. “And if she did? We promised Lindsey we would find out the truth about her sister.”
Bella didn’t share London’s negativity. She wanted to believe in the teacher who had been kind and encouraging. “If we have Ms. LaRoux on our side, I bet we will find out what happened faster than working without her. She’s smart and has resources we can’t get our hands on.”
Hartley rested against the railing. “She’s got a point.”
Cal nodded. “I agree. Let’s work harder on seeing what Ms. LaRoux knows, and if she is innocent, let’s see what she can do for us.”
“Just be careful what you tell her,” Jenna said. “Until we know for sure she had nothing to do with Marjorie and Lindsey’s disappearance, we can’t trust her.”
“Maybe you should ease up on Ms. LaRoux. She’s not all bad. Lindsey would have given her the benefit of the doubt.”
“But Lindsey isn’t here,” Jenna snapped. “And until we track her down, watch your back with the teacher. She could turn on us.”
Bella bit her tongue, deciding it was pointless arguing with the bitter young woman. No matter what Jenna preached, Bella had already made up her mind about their teacher. She couldn’t believe someone who had put so much at risk for her students could be out to destroy them.
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes supernatural, horror, mystery, and thrillers. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.