The Case of the Missing Deed

( 3 )


Take a dash of colorful characters, a pinch of danger, and generous scoops of adventure and you have a terrific culinary mystery for young readers.

Five cousins are looking forward to their annual vacation at their grandmother?s cottage. None of them knows that this may be their last such summer. A mining company has set its sights on the land and is determined to seize it. Grandma must produce the deed to prove that the property is really hers, but her memory is not what it ...

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The Case of the Missing Deed

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Take a dash of colorful characters, a pinch of danger, and generous scoops of adventure and you have a terrific culinary mystery for young readers.

Five cousins are looking forward to their annual vacation at their grandmother’s cottage. None of them knows that this may be their last such summer. A mining company has set its sights on the land and is determined to seize it. Grandma must produce the deed to prove that the property is really hers, but her memory is not what it used to be, and she can’t find it. The children suspect there may be clues to the deed’s whereabouts somewhere in the family’s cherished trove of recipes. But can they solve the mystery in time?

Adult mystery buffs have had many culinary mysteries to choose from. Ellen Schwartz introduces her young readers to a delicious genre. She even provides easy-to-follow and yummy to eat recipes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…The Case of the Missing Deed is fast-paced, and full of cryptic clues, secret codes, and red herrings…. Schwartz beautifully captures the agony, ecstasy, and exquisite self-centredness of a 13-year-old girl on a family vacation…. The Case of the Missing Deed is a great summer read for kids who love a good, meaty mystery as much as they love a delicious homemade dessert.”
Quill & Quire

“For pre-teens who enjoy decoding secret messages while solving a mystery and doing some cooking on the side, The Case of the Missing Deed… fits all requirements.”
The Winnipeg Free Press

“A treasure hunt, a family get-together, a beloved cottage threatened by an evil mining consortium –The Case of the Missing Deed has them all! … Schwartz has found a real recipe for success in this series.”
—Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

 “A delightful mystery for children ten and up… Schwartz mixes tricky codes, ciphers with facts and interesting characters… The theme of environmental protection is well explained and the clues to the mystery are ingeniously sprinkled throughout a packet of recipes… Good dialogue, well-differentiated characters and a wholesome setting complete this old-fashioned mystery.”
— John Spray Mystery Award, Jury Comments

Children's Literature - Carollyne Hutter
Summer is normally a relaxing time for the five cousins—Sebastien, Genevieve, Claire, Olivia, and Alex—when they visit their grandparent's cottage on Otter Island, a charming island in British Columbia. This summer trouble is stirring on Otter Island as Tantalus Mining has plans to open up the island to mining. The company is buying up property throughout the island and wants to buy the grandmother's land. The problem is the grandfather, who recently died, has hidden the deed to the property and the grandmother cannot remember where it is. Without the deed, the mining company will seize the grandmother's property. As the title suggests, the mystery is the location of the deed. The grandfather has hidden clues to find the deed in the family's favorite recipes. Sebastien, who loves puzzles, leads the group of cousins to solve the mystery. Time is of the essence and the cousins have to help each other to solve the mystery before the mining company seizes the property. As with adult culinary mysteries, recipes are scattered throughout the book. The book is low on violence, but high on adventure and fun. The setting is delightful. The book is the first in a series entitled, "Teaspoon Detectives." Reviewer: Carollyne Hutter
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Summer on Otter Island with Grandma may never be the same for cousins Sébastien, Geneviève, Claire, Olivia, and Alex. Tantalus Mining is planning to dig for tantalum and buy up properties around the site. If Grandma cannot prove that she owns her cottage, she will lose it. She knows that Grandpa told her where their deed was before he died, but her memory is not what it used to be. The cousins look for the document throughout the house and then find clues handwritten by Grandpa in some favorite family recipes. The children try to interpret them, but will they find the deed in time? This fast-paced mystery is filled with hidden clues and codes and believable, likable characters. It is a book that families could read together after cooking up one of the recipes.—Tammy DiBartolo, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780887769597
  • Publisher: Tundra
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Series: Teaspoon Detectives Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Schwartz was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in New Jersey. She moved to Canada in 1972. She has written several books for children, including Avalanche Dance and Stealing Home. Ellen Schwartz and her husband, Bill, live in Burnaby, BC, and have two grown daughters - one of whom is a professional chef.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2011

    A great (mouth-watering) mystery for kids!

    This is a cute little mystery for younger readers. I, like other readers, had a little trouble keeping track of all the characters, but as the story coalesced, it became more obvious which ones were actually "main." Even the cousins relegated to a secondary role had distinct characteristics by the end, and I loved getting to know them by their favorite foods! And speaking of food, I loved the recipes scattered throughout. I have yet to try any of them, but they look delicious (and doable by readers with a little help from a grown-up). The mystery itself is very tame/not scary, even though the stakes are very high for the cousins and their grandmother. The way it plays out, with mysteries in recipes and ciphers in letters, makes this book a good fit for puzzle-solvers and well as budding mystery lovers.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Five cousins and a missing deed

    What started as a nice, yearly vacation trip, turns into one of concern and mystery. Grandma may lose her house on the island, and she seems so down. Why? She can't find the deed. As the family sets out to help find it, they are reminded that their grandfather liked to hide things and use riddles for others to find them. It seems that the deed may be tied to a recipe for Pesto, but why? Grandpa wasn't around to ask anymore. How many other clues are there in the recipes? Will they find the deed before the mining company takes over the island and claims Grandma's house? Come along and help solve this mystery. See if you can solve it before the cousins in the book do.

    This is a really fun mystery for young people. I found myself pulled into the story, rooting for them to find the deed. Each clue lead to another and it was fun to figure them out. This is a great book to introduce children to the mystery genre, and will likely have them looking for more. I also think this would be a fun book for family reading time with everyone working on the solution. I received a review copy to read on my Nook from Net Galley and thank them very much!

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  • Posted October 4, 2011

    kids detectives

    Review:Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz
    5 STARS
    It was amazing how all the peices of the puzzle fit together. It was exciting to see who the bad guys were. If the kids would find all the clues and put them together. Case of Missing Deed was a book I did not want to put down. I enjoyed how the grandkids worried about their grandma and tried to make a difference.
    Tantalus mining company wanted to put a mine an ore found on their island. They wanted to buy their Grandparents home. They also said," If you don't sell and have proof of the deed their land goes back to goverment. Grandpa did not trust saftey boxes in banks and loved puzzles. He was fighting cancer so he hid clues to where something was. The two families came each summer and spent time with their Grandparents but this year was different Grandpa had died and Grandma was so afraid she would loose their home she taken to her bed and was really skinny.
    Grandma always loved to cook so the children thought if they asked her to cook somthing that would get her out of bed. That plan did not work so the next plan was to cook her favorite dish.
    While they looked for her reciepes they found Pesto was Grandma's but their was a sentence written in Grandpa handwriting that made no sense. Well she would not eat any of it. But kids did not give in they kept trying to interest Grandma in food and kept finding clues Grandpa had left all over the island.
    I would read more stories by Ellen Schwartz I was entertained reading Case of the Missing Deed. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review.

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