This is a book I remember from my childhood. I have never quite understood it. Some neighborhood kids are mean to a grouchy old woman. Their dog gets sick and dies, they assume she did it, things escalate.
At the end, everyone is a happy, friendly neighbor. Pretty basic storyline. But the dog poisoning and gun play make this is a little... dark.
Ms. Louella Fink's gothic house. It is just begging for misinterpretation.
Louella Fink's husband disappeared. There are all kinds of wild stories about what happened to him. But the kids know she poisoned him and got rid of the evidence.
Louella Fink is just weird. I mean she dances in the garden in the moonlight. Kids don't tolerate those kind of shenanigans from adults who should know better.
When their dog, Ambrose, is found dead, they know exactly who to blame. They give her a dead rat.
And try to scare her. And generally make her life miserable.
Things get out of hand.
At times, the kids wonder if maybe they aren't going a little too far. But.... she did poison their dog, after all.
They decide to steal her crabapples. And are nearly scared out of their wits by the scarecrow.
But in the end, everyone is happy and friendly.