I should create a shelf for the things I find at the recycling center, in thrift stores, yard sales....anywhere I need to surreptitiously sniff the pages to make sure they're not mildewed or worse. Carol Beach York was a special kind of young reader's author, putting out yarns for the early chapter crowd, middle grade and, occasionally, for teens. 'Once Upon a Dark November' stars young Katie, a high school freshman, who has scored a job after school as a housekeeper for the wife of her dreamy English teacher. He's got a mustache and everything.
Things start going wrong when her teacher's strange brother visits. Soon after, the reclusive old woman who lives across from Katie is murdered! Katie begins to fear for her own life.
This was a lightning-quick novella. The content clearly skews it to older readers, but it would take so little time to digest I'm not sure why it wasn't expanded into something more substantial. The mystery is a solid one, with some unnerving moments for our young protagonist. Even with the dramatic shift in what's available for young adult readers, this one holds up well enough.