When the Brightons move into their refurbished citrus plantation home, they receive a surprise. Every year, near Christmas, a ghost girl moves into the third story bedroom and stays until New Years Day. At first, they are terrified but, over the years, they begin to feel sorry for the ghost girl, Maxine. Via local lore, they learn that Maxine lived in the house a century earlier, and died tragically.
As the Brightons reach out to her, Maxine becomes aggressive, and even dangerous. This spurs the family to take action. With the help of a knowledgeable history teacher, a ragged team of ghost hunters, and Maxine's centurion son, they come up with a strategy to help Maxine find peace.
The story is told in rotating chapters by Mary Helen, a modern day cozy writer, and Delilah, the woman who raised Maxine in the early 1900s. It has its scary parts, but the style is mostly humorous.