While this includes an historical element, like many of her titles, it's also a straight mystery with hidden rooms, criminals, and, of course, skeptical family and police! Gordy Hartz is in trouble - again - for his wild stories. He was absolutely sure he saw a burglar in the empty house next door, but nobody believes him after the UFO scare. Even his best friend Izzy's dad, who is a policeman, is mad at him. On top of this, his family isn't doing too well - his dad has been unemployed for a while and money is tight. Gordy is both worried and excited when his parents decide to rent out their house and spend the summer with Great-Aunt Willi. Soon he's finding secret rooms, mysterious happenings, and potential criminals. Even when he gets Willi and some of her elderly friends involved, researching events of the great Johnstown flood that seem to be resurfacing, will anybody believe him? And is there really a treasure?
Verdict: A snazzy new cover on a reissue would make this an excellent mystery - it's got historical elements, features kids with economic struggles, and has plenty of clues and excitement. I hope some publisher puts this on their reissue list!
Used copy purchased on Amazon; Donated to the library book sale