Annie Berkley, a schoolmate of Shelby's who has appeared in previous books, lives in a foster home and has become depressed. Shelby is concerned and eventually wins over Annie's trust in order to find out what's bothering her.
Annie's mother disappeared several years ago, leaving with her boyfriend when Annie was 8. she was never in touch with her daughter again. But now, the boyfriend has returned, saying that he lost touch with the mother and doesn't know what happened to her.
Shelby suspects that something more sinister is going on, and as she digs through clues, discovers that the boyfriend knows far more about the mother's whereabouts than he's letting on. But the attept to uncover secrets puts Shelby and Annie's lives in danger.
Valerie Sherrard is the author of 12 previous novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah's Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Red Maple, White Pine, and Arthur Ellis Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.