viewcherrytreeThe View From the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts, 1964.

Things have been difficult around Rob Mallory’s house since preparations for his sister’s wedding began, but things are about to get a whole lot worse. While his mother and sisters are rushing around, making last minute arrangements for the wedding guests and finding a replacement for a sick bride’s maid, Rob’s father is trying to help Uncle Ray stay out of jail after he stole some money from his boss. To make matters worse, old Mrs. Calloway, their unpleasant, eccentric next door neighbor, has been causing trouble again, spying on people with her binoculars and provoking arguments with everyone in the neighborhood.

The only peaceful place Rob can find to escape all the chaos at his house is the cherry tree that stands between his house and Mrs. Calloway’s. While he is up in the tree, Rob witnesses an argument between Mrs. Calloway and a man Rob can’t see inside her house. Then, Rob sees the man shove Mrs. Calloway out of her window. Her binoculars get tangled on a tree branch, and she is strangled to death. Rob runs to his house to get help, and the authorities come and take Mrs. Calloway’s body away. However, no one believes Rob when he says that Mrs. Calloway was pushed. Everyone thinks that her death was an accident. Then, a series of strange “accidents” happen that seem to threaten Rob’s life.

Rob’s family is too caught up in the wedding plans and family troubles to realize what is happening, but Rob is convinced that Mrs. Calloway’s murderer is trying to silence him forever.  Can he outwit the murderer and learn his identity?  More importantly, can he survive until the evening when his father is supposed to return home and can help him convince the police that he’s in real danger?

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