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Joan Lowery Nixon (1927–2003) was a renowned author of children’s literature, best known for series like the Orphan Train Adventures and Casebusters. Born in Los Angeles, she began dictating poems to her mother before she could read. At the University of Southern California, Nixon majored in journalism, but took a job teaching the first grade upon graduating. In 1949, she and her husband moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, and in 1964 she published her first novel, The Mystery of Hurricane Castle.
Nixon became a fan of mystery fiction when she was a child, and many of her most popular series incorporate elements of sleuthing. She won four Edgar Awards for best young adult mysteries, including prizes for her novels The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore (1979) and The Name of the Game Was Murder (1993). In addition to writing more than 140 young adult novels, Nixon also co-wrote several geology texts with her scientist husband.
While staying at a resort hotel, Brian and Sean investigate the ongoing theft of expensive cuts of meat from the hotel's kitchen.