Growing up on the edge of Breken Ridge definitely has benefits. The rock ledge overlooking the river and the valley was our first home. Some called it the jagged mountain, but my brother and I preferred to call it "Home", at least until the house burned. Mom had replaced the rickety old two story craftsman with a double wide when I was three because the house wouldn't stay warm enough and I kept getting sick. About ten years later, Rouse, the Eco-Thief, set the double wide home on fire in an effort to get us to shut up and stop chasing him. We didn't, he got 20 years for setting the house on fire, and another twenty for burning the riverbottom. Then he got life for murdering the Mayor. We all figured Bob Keller put up a heck of a good fight, when ole Rouse set the river bottom on fire.
I suppose everyone in town thought we'd just up and leave town. We'd lived there on the Ridge for so many years. Mom still owns the property. She leased it to the Department of Wildlife for a Garage for their equipment, because they can see nearly forty miles down the river either direction from the ridge, and it's got easy access. We moved into town on High Street, in the old Crabil Mansion. I don't think it's very old, but it's got big wide porches, huge rooms and three stories of space. Mom loves writing in her new office. And... The manuscript she'd sent out just before the fire? Well, the publisher bought it and she sold a million copies of that book the first year after it was published.
Guess I should introduce myself. I'm Neill Ruskin, the youngest of the tribe. My brother Gavin considers himeself a sleuth and I tag along. I'm usually the one who solves the crimes. He chases the clues around, gathers them all up and I put them together. Of course, when we get into an investigation too deep, our sister, Morgan rushes in to save the day. Mom's been an investigative reporter for about a hundred years, so she often helps us gather information and keeps the press alerted to any criminal activities going on in the area. My other sister, Emily, keeps us all pulled together and organized. We all work together to make crime prevention work here in Breken.
Right now, we're working on a case Gavin calls, "Mystery of the Sand Castle." Over on Breken River there's a kind of sand castle built back in the cove. The old guy that lives there died several years ago, and the sand castle is vacant. At least, it's supposed to be vacant. Lately, there's been a light on in the back of the castle and at night it blinks upward into the sky. I told him it's probably haunted by old man Weathers, but Gavin says there's something going on...