Dead Letter (Herculeah Jones Series)

Dead Letter (Herculeah Jones Series)

4.3 21
by Betsy Byars
     
 

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When Herculeah Jones discovers a letter in her secondhand coat, she instantly recognizes it as a cry for help. It doesn’t take Herculeah long to uncover the clues and track down the truth. But what Herculeah doesn’t realize is that someone is stalking her—someone who would kill to keep the truth under wraps. . . .See more details below

Overview

When Herculeah Jones discovers a letter in her secondhand coat, she instantly recognizes it as a cry for help. It doesn’t take Herculeah long to uncover the clues and track down the truth. But what Herculeah doesn’t realize is that someone is stalking her—someone who would kill to keep the truth under wraps. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Sue Preissner
When some cash was burning a hole in Herculeah's pocket, she ventured to Hidden Treasures, a secondhand store, where she purchased an electric blue coat. She should have heeded the warning that danger was near-when wearing the coat, her hair began to tingle and frizz. Just as she was drawn to purchase the coat, she also found a note, begging for help, buried deep within the coat's lining. With the help of her best friend , "Meat," the public library, and by poking around the new construction on Elm Street, Herculean helps to solve a twenty-year-old mystery. Along the way, she encounters a handwriting analysis expert, a vicious Doberman, and a ruthless nephew. This is the third "Herculeah Jones" mystery.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7The mighty Herculeah Jones is back with her able accomplice Meat in their third mystery. This time, Herculeah finds a note in the lining of an electric blue coat that she bought at a second-hand store. The missive is from someone who is being held prisoner and is terrified of being murdered. Through careful detective work and a bit of luck, the girl learns the identity of the woman and that she has indeed died, and is determined to find her killer. In the process, Herculeah very nearly becomes the next victim. Like strong detectives in adult mysteries, Herculeah is feisty and foolhardy. She is also frightened when she is held captive and guarded by a killer Doberman, and humbled by her experiences. Meat, far more timid, struggles to keep up, rarely realizing how helpful he really is. Byars is in top form, providing cliffhanger after cliffhanger, laughter and chills, in this well-crafted thriller fraught with danger and true villains.Ann Cook, Winter Park Public Library, FL
Ilene Cooper
In the latest installment in the series starring Herculeah Jones, the intrepid girl detective buys a coat in a used-clothing store, and because of a message she finds in the lining, she suspects the previous owner has been murdered. With some help from her friend, the timid, overweight Meat, Herculeah is able to crack the case, but not before her life is put in serious danger. Kids who have not read any of the previous books may find it a little hard to get up to speed, at least in background information. The mystery itself zooms along, but everything else is sketchy, especially details of Herculeah's home life. And although "whodunit" is not a big surprise, why the deed was done fits in well with the rest of the plot. The intriguing cover will attract readers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101127223
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/01/2006
Series:
Herculeah Jones Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
896,455
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.



First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.



"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself into
my books -- something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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