Rereading: THE PHANTOM RIDER by Keith Robertson

This engaging novel of a boy and his horse, and a ghostly female rider, has some similarities to his earlier book The Lonesome Sorrel, but enough differences to make it equally interesting.

Tim Cottrell has a rangy hunter named Whiskbroom, and they love to ride cross country, but keeping a horse in feed, shoes, and other requirements are making Tim too busy to ride much. Then Tim’s sister introduces him to Kate Sims, who seems to love horses as he does, though she doesn’t ride. Her mother was killed in a riding accident a few years earlier, and her father has forbidden it. Despite that, Kate is happy to help out with Whiskbroom, and suggests they go into business, buying another horse for riding lessons. Instead they end up with a stubborn donkey, Eloise, and a donkey cart. Once Tim figures out how to handle Eloise, they can hire out for parties and events and make some money, which they do.

Tim’s other interest is the stories he’s been hearing about a ghostly rider that’s been seen very early at first light racing along a nearby ridge, supposedly the spirit of Peggy Grover, who defied the British in Revolutionary War times and was chased along that ridge by a mounted soldier. Tim thinks the stories might be caused by a real rider, and he’s determined to discover the truth. He and Whiskbroom plan to ride down the elusive phantom!

Recommended, with lots more action than I can describe here, and fine characters.

The Phantom Rider by Keith Robertson

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