A SIDE OF SABOTAGE

From the Quinnie Boyd Mystery series , Vol. 3

Only mildly suspenseful, but between the mystery and familiar friendship problems, amusing enough to sustain interest.

Back for another outing after Vampires on the Run (2017), Quinnie and her young teen friends of Maiden Rock, Maine (a stereotypical middle-class village that tourists might imagine), get caught up in another mild mystery.

Quinnie’s BFF, Zoe, is back from two years in Scotland and is finding it hard to slip back into the old routine. Meanwhile Quinnie’s favorite boy buddy is just packing up to move back to New Jersey and new friend Ella is facing the challenge of finding her place with (or between) Zoe and Quinnie. On top of all that, a fancy chef has just opened a new restaurant in town that’s sure to provide competition for Quinnie’s father’s more modest but tried-and-true eatery, Gusty’s. With the newspaper’s Secret Diner set to pick a favorite between the two, someone begins to sabotage Gusty’s. Quinnie and her pals set out to discover the perpetrator using surveillance and good problem-solving skills, along with a bit of breaking and entering that gets them all in trouble. Plenty of red herrings will keep readers guessing until the climax. No one is described, but the white default probably prevails. An incomplete resolution of the gang’s immature relationship issues provides fodder for the next tale.

Only mildly suspenseful, but between the mystery and familiar friendship problems, amusing enough to sustain interest. (Mystery. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-4836-8

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

THE SCREAMING STAIRCASE

From the Lockwood & Co. series , Vol. 1

A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls.

Three young ghost trappers take on deadly wraiths and solve an old murder case in the bargain to kick off Stroud’s new post-Bartimaeus series.

Narrator Lucy Carlyle hopes to put her unusual sensitivity to supernatural sounds to good use by joining Lockwood & Co.—one of several firms that have risen to cope with the serious ghost Problem that has afflicted England in recent years. As its third member, she teams with glib, ambitious Anthony Lockwood and slovenly-but-capable scholar George Cubbins to entrap malign spirits for hire. The work is fraught with peril, not only because a ghost’s merest touch is generally fatal, but also, as it turns out, as none of the three is particularly good at careful planning and preparation. All are, however, resourceful and quick on their feet, which stands them in good stead when they inadvertently set fire to a house while discovering a murder victim’s desiccated corpse. It comes in handy again when they later rashly agree to clear Combe Carey Hall, renowned for centuries of sudden deaths and regarded as one of England’s most haunted manors. Despite being well-stocked with scream-worthy ghastlies, this lively opener makes a light alternative for readers who find the likes of Joseph Delaney’s Last Apprentice series too grim and creepy for comfort.

A heartily satisfying string of entertaining near-catastrophes, replete with narrow squeaks and spectral howls. (Ghost adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6491-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

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  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Newbery Honor Book

THREE TIMES LUCKY

From the Mo & Dale Mysteries series , Vol. 1

Readers may find they never want to leave Tupelo Landing.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

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  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Newbery Honor Book

What do you get when you combine Because of Winn-Dixie’s heart with the mystery and action of Holes? You get an engaging, spirit-lifting and unforgettable debut for young readers.

Turnage introduces readers to the homey yet exotic world of Tupelo Landing, N.C., well-populated with one-of-a-kind characters. A stranger with justice on his mind has just arrived in town, and Hurricane Amy is on its way. Rising sixth-grader Mo LoBeau leads the cast through a series of clues as the whole town tries to figure out who among them might be a murderer. The novel’s opening lines reveal the unflappable Mo LoBeau as a latter-day Philip Marlowe: “Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt.” This is the first of many genius turns of phrases. Pairing the heartbreaking sadness of children who don’t get their fair share from parents with the hilarity of small-town life, Turnage achieves a wickedly awesome tale of an 11-year-old girl with more spirit and gumption than folks twice her age. Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children’s fiction.

Readers may find they never want to leave Tupelo Landing. (Mystery. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3670-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

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