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DEAD ON TOWN LINE by Leslie Connor


by Leslie Connor & illustrated by Gina Triplett

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8037-3021-7
Publisher: Dial

Cassie Devlin (female, 16, medium height, brown hair and green eyes, according to the all-points bulletin) has been murdered, her body thrown into a rock crevice on the town line. Still, from her leafy grave, she finds herself keenly aware of her predicament; able to spy on the search-and-rescue team, her mother and boyfriend Kyle; able to share murder stories with Birdie, another of Earth’s ghostly hangers-on; and even to take care of some unfinished business. Written in Cassie’s voice as free verse in separate poems, this novel is graceful and spare. Far from a lyrical lullaby, however, it’s also a suspenseful murder mystery; readers will be impatient to discover who killed Cassie and why. Her passion for music dances through the poems and ultimately it’s one of her own piano compositions that allows her a way to communicate with her grieving mother. While unflinching in its treatment of death (“Rot happens slowly / But it does / Happen”), the narrative is refreshingly breezy and even rather soothing in its examination of life after death. (black-and-white illustrations) (Fiction. YA)