Books by Bailey MacDonald

Released: Oct. 5, 2010

When the woman who owns her indenture dies of arsenic poisoning, 14-year-old Patience flees before she can be sold. Suspected of stealing her mistress's money, she hides at the print shop where young Ben Franklin works. The two collaborate to find the real murderer and thief and to free a midwife accused of the poisoning and witchcraft. The early-18th-century Boston setting is believable, and the teenage Ben comes to life, clever and resourceful, with a fine and familiar way with words. A kite and a coded message embedded in a newspaper article help them solve the mystery. Each chapter begins with a relevant quotation from the real Franklin, often from Poor Richard's Almanac. Spunky Patience, daughter of a ship's first mate and the slave he stole from a Virginia plantation, is a girl with modern ideas about women at odds with those of her times; readers will find her a sympathetic and courageous character and applaud her success. Another entertaining historical mystery by the author of Wicked Will (2009). (Historical mystery. 9-13)Read full book review >
WICKED WILL by Bailey MacDonald
Released: June 23, 2009

Some nearly threadbare tropes hold together this fast-paced mystery for middle schoolers, only fraying completely at the end. Will Shakespeare at 12 is irrepressible, full of words and perhaps a little ADHD. His foil is Tom, a member of a group of players, except that Tom is really Viola, living in disguise with her uncle's troupe as her parents are in hiding for helping a Catholic priest escape the Crown. Tom/Viola's uncle and his players come to Stratford-on-Avon, where he is almost immediately accused of murder when a local curmudgeon is bludgeoned to death with the uncle's walking stick. Will, with the unwilling assistance of Tom/Viola, seeks to solve the crime, full of words and scheming and hijinks. The townsfolk spout lines that ring suspiciously familiar, a melodramatic plot twist involving the twin sons of the local curmudgeon ends in a drowning and suicide (offstage) and everyone seems to figure out that Tom is really Viola. Lively and quick, it may offer some small amusement to readers not quite ready for King of Shadows. (Historical fiction. 8-11)Read full book review >