Books by Sylvia McNicoll

THE SNAKE MISTAKE MYSTERY by Sylvia McNicoll
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 20, 2018

"A good choice for middle graders who enjoy teasing out the red herrings from the clues. (Mystery. 9-12)"
A dog-walking business falls into peril when all of its clients are burgled. Read full book review >
THE ARTSY MISTAKE MYSTERY by Sylvia McNicoll
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 29, 2017

"An uphill trek. (Mystery. 10-12)"
How do you solve a mystery involving stolen artwork? Sometimes you need to make all the right mistakes. Read full book review >
THE BEST MISTAKE MYSTERY by Sylvia McNicoll
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 31, 2017

"Readers who can get past the tonal quibbles will appreciate seeing how this class geek discovers that some of his brainy quirks make him a fine budding sleuth. (Mystery. 9-12)"
A bomb threat leads to early school dismissal and leaves Stephen entangled in intrigue. Read full book review >
REVENGE ON THE FLY by Sylvia McNicoll
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 2014

A fly-catching contest comes to dominate the life of new Irish immigrant Will in 1912 Hamilton, Ontario.

Life isn't easy for the 12-year-old. His mother and young sister recently died, money is very tight, and rich boy Fred, a new classmate, is savoring every opportunity to humiliate him. Opportunity knocks when the local newspaper offers a $50 prize for killing the most flies as part of an effort to reduce disease. The competition is ruthless, with Fred and his minions collecting thousands of flies and Will trying lots of clever tricks to pull even. Another poor child, Ginny, is besotted with Fred but gradually comes to see the truth about the bully and switches her loyalty and friendship to Will. He struggles with the ethics of his tricks, reminded by the wealthy but even-minded Rebecca of a nobler mission. While the dead-fly count reaches an awesome, even unbelievable level, an author's note states that the tale is accurately based on a real contest. At times, Will's voice sounds inappropriately authorial—"The pain of the fleeting memory seared at my heart, but then faded to a warm glow"—but readers will nonetheless enjoy his spunky attitude and underlying goodness. McNicoll paints a believably gritty portrait of urban life a century ago.

An entertaining visit to the past with a likable guide on a spirited—if icky—quest. (Historical fiction. 9-14)Read full book review >