Gr 4-6-- This attempt at a high interest/low reading level mystery fails on several counts. A brother and sister who move from the city to the country are drawn to a large old tree, the site of a strange crime some years before. Possessed of certain human qualities, the tree seems hostile to Peter, yet protective of Pam, a phenomenon which is never explained. The shadowy, menacing figure of an old man who weaves in and out of the story becomes the hero in a very pat and unsatisfactory ending. Stilted narration and incompatibility of illustrations with events in the plot demonstrate the careless composition of this book. The ultimate flaw appears at the climax of the story. When the initials in the carved heart on the tree's trunk are supposed to have changed from ``C.P. loves A.B.'' to ``C.P. loves P.H.'' (Pam's initials in place of the tragic teenager Amanda Blain's), both the text and accompanying illustration read, unchanged, ``C.P. loves A.B.'' This is an inexcusable mistake, rendering the climactic event meaningless. While the potential for a good mystery is here, dull, formulaic writing; an artificial and implausible setting (the story spans several weeks in late winter, but Peter and Pam don't ever go to school); and too many questions raised and left unanswered result in a book which doesn't deliver.-- Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, N.Y.