The Dead Man in Indian Creek

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Overview




While camping near Indian Creek, Matt and his best friend, Parker, get up early to see if they can spot a blue heron. Instead, they find the body of a dead man floating in the clear water.
     Parker is sure that George Evans, the smooth-talking  local antiques dealer, must somehow be connected to the dead man. Matt isn’t so sure—but then, on Halloween night, while snooping around Evans’s antique shop, the boys ...
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1991 Hard Cover Very Good Ex-Library 1991 HARDCOVER. EX-LIBRARY WITH USUAL STAMPS AND STICKERS. TINY STAIN AT BOTTOM INSIDE BACK COVER. LIGHT WEAR TO OUTSIDE EDGES OF COVER. ... BINDING IS STRAIGHT AND SECURE AND OUTSIDE CORNERS ARE SQUARE. PAGES ARE CLEAN, NO MARKS, RIPS OR FOLDS. COVER DIFFERENT THAN PICTURED ON AMAZON. Read more Show Less

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The Dead Man in Indian Creek

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Overview




While camping near Indian Creek, Matt and his best friend, Parker, get up early to see if they can spot a blue heron. Instead, they find the body of a dead man floating in the clear water.
     Parker is sure that George Evans, the smooth-talking  local antiques dealer, must somehow be connected to the dead man. Matt isn’t so sure—but then, on Halloween night, while snooping around Evans’s antique shop, the boys make another shocking discovery that puts their own lives in danger.
     There are murderous grownups that would do anything to keep what the boys found in the shop a secret, and now they’re after Parker and Matt. Are the boys clever enough to get away? Or will they, too, end up like the dead man in Indian Creek?

When Matt and Parker learn the body they found in Indian Creek is a drug-related death, they fear Parkers's mother may be involved.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Matt would like nothing more than to forget the corpse that he and his best friend Parker found in Indian Creek. But Parker is convinced that his mother's new boyfriend, Mr. Evans, has something to do with the dead man's death. Against his better judgment, Matt accompanies Parker on an investigation of Evans's antique store, where the boys unearth evidence that Evans is involved in a cocaine ring. But before the pair can report their findings to the police, gang members are hot on their trail. Thus begins a hair-raising chase that winds through the town's Halloween parade and finishes in the boys' secret hideout. Thanks to the help of a classmate and the dubious efforts of two bratty kid sisters, Parker and Matt outwit the villains and bring them to justice. A combination of crackling language and plenty of suspense, this fast-paced yarn is likely to appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Ages 9-13. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7 --Parker and Matt decide to camp out one last time before the weather turns too cold--and stumble upon a dead man. Parker swears he saw George Evans (his widowed mother's boyfriend and his least favorite person) at the scene of the crime. So begins a bumpy, peril-laden adventure. The boys spy out a cocaine ring in which Parker's mother and George are involved; a thug kidnaps everyone. Rescue comes when Parker's dog corners the thug and Matt's little sister pushes a doll carriage with a cocaine-packed doll through a Halloween parade into the police station. There's more than enough action, and Hahn's effortless mastery of kids' dialogue makes this an easy read. But there are illogical gaps: Why is Parker's mother, previously loving, so remote? How likely is it that 12-year-olds go camping alone? Why is it that Matt's flagging self-image shows little repair after such heroics? At the conclusion, when all of the drug traffickers are apprehended and Parker's mother is hospitalized and awaiting charges, Matt assures Parker: ``Whatever happens, my mom says you're staying with us.'' Readers will find this less than reassuring. With the abundance of good juvenile who-done-its available, this one is dead in the water. --Carolyn Noah, Worcester Public Library, MA
From the Publisher
"Good, well-constructed entertainment." —Kirkus Reviews
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812496741
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1991
  • Pages: 130
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Downing Hahn is the best-selling author of more than twenty award-winning books for young readers, including Stepping on the Cracks, which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Anna on the Farm is the follow-up to Anna All Year Round, both based on the author’s mother’s memoirs about growing up in Maryland pre-World War I.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

If Parker Pattengill hadn't wanted to go camping, we never would have found the dead man in Indian Creek, and, believe me, we would have been a whole lot better off. But isn't that the way it always is? You look back on some little decision you made and realize all the things that happened because of it, and you think to yourself "if only I'd known," but, of course, you couldn't have known.

Anyway, there Parker and I were, sitting on my back porch one Saturday afternoon, enjoying the sunshine as we watched the leaves slowly fall through the quiet October air. It was Indian summer, and the day was so warm and lazy I could have sat there forever.

But not Parker. Lately he'd been edgy and restless, always wanting to go somewhere, meet somebody, do something. If we stayed in the same place for more than five minutes, he'd start drumming his fingers on tabletops or tapping his foot or biting his fingernails.

Nervous energy, my mother called it, but he wore me out.

"Hey, you know what we should do?" he said.

"Nothing," I said, and I meant it. I was perfectly content just feeling the sun warm my back and smelling something that might be brownies baking in the oven.

"No, seriously, Armentrout." Parker poked me in the arm, just hard enough to hurt. Since we started junior high school, he's been calling me by my last name; I guess he thinks it sounds cool and sophisticated, but it kind of gives me a pain. I mean I've been answering to Matt or Matthew all my life, but now all of a sudden it's Armentrout this and Armentrout that, and it takes getting used to.

"Let's camp out tonight," Parker went on. "This might be thelast good weekend."

His straight blond hair was hanging in his eyes, his bony knees were poking out of the holes in his jeans, and he had the eager look on his face he always gets when he's excited about something. I often see the same expression on his dog Otis's face when he's begging for a walk.

"Where do you want to go?" I asked, unable to fuse the slightest bit of enthusiasm into my voice.

"How about Indian Creek? It's still warm enough for swimming, and we could fish in the morning. We might even see that blue heron again." He gave me another little punch. "Come on, what do you say?"

Well, I wasn't really in the mood to pack up my camping gear and ride my bike eight miles out of town and who knows how far down the creek. But no matter what I said, Parker kept insisting, and finally I gave in. He was, as my parents often pointed out, a natural-born leader, and I was a natural-born follower.

I went into the house to tell my mother about Parker's and my plans, but she was too busy making a bunch of little bread-dough Christmas tree ornaments to pay me much attention. She only had a couple of weeks to get ready for the Woodcroft Fall Festival, and she was counting on her sales to bring in extra money for Christmas shopping.

What I'd thought were brownies baking in the oven were more ornaments, so I took a handful of cookies out of a box and poured glasses of milk for Parker and me. After a while, I cleared my throat and said,"Mom, Parker and I are camping out at Indian Creek. Okay? "

She looked up from the bread dough and frowned. "Overnight, Matthew?"

I knew what Mom was thinking. She always worries I'll get into trouble under Parker's influence. According to her, his mother, Pam, doesn't keep a close enough eye on him. It's true that Parker spends a lot of time alone, but it isn't his mother's fault. His father was killed in a car crash when Parker was a baby, and she has to work. So what if she goes out at night and

leaves Parker home by himself once in a while? No matter what Mom thinks, Parker doesn't take advantage of it.

"We want to go one more time," I said, "while it's still so nice and warm and all." I munched a cookie and waited for Mom to answer. I was kind of hoping she'd say no and save me all the trouble of getting the tent, an old K-mart special, out of the attic.

But you know how parents are -- if I'd been dying to go, she would have said no, but since I wasn't all that hot on it, she said yes.

Then she had to add, "The exercise, would do you good."

That made Parker laugh. For some reason, he and I are developing at very different rates. A year or two ago, we were about the same size, but now that we're twelve, Parker is getting taller and leaner every day, and I seem to be staying the same height but getting rounder. I've even developed this awful little spare tire around my waist like a middle-aged man, and I sure didn't appreciate Mom's drawing Parker's attention to it.

Leaving Parker with Mom, I got the tent out of the attic. Then I threw some stuff in my backpack. On my way to the kitchen, I had the bad luck to pass my little sister Charity in the hall. If ever a kid was misnamed, Charity was. At the sight of me, she and her friend Tiffany started cackling like chickens in a barn.

"Fatty, fatty two by four," they chanted. "Can't get through the kitchen door!"

I paused and glared down at her. Should I care what a couple of six-year-old twits said? "Stupid," I muttered.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Love It!!!!

    This book is AWESOME!!!!!!!!! My friend recommended it to me and im so glad she did! I wouldn't recommend it to 8 or younger because it has a few inapropriate words and actions in it though. Have fun reading it

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2010

    Adult Themes, Cocaine, and Rape in a Juvenile Independent Reader ???

    My granddaughter picked out 5 independent reader books -- proud of her ability to now read chapter books. We started with "The Dead Man in Indian Creek". My 'spider-senses' went up when in an early chapter there was a reference to a man touching the protagonist's, Parker, mother's skin. We jointly read a few chapters and then found something else to do. I read on by myself -- and not to be an ending spoiler -- found that Parker's mom spends the night (with the lights out) with her male friend, that she puts little white packets of cocaine in dolls' heads as part of her lover's drug sales operation, and that the locals have beer and drug parties near the quarry. There is even a gratuitous sentence about a school book report where the child giving the oral report likes the pirate book in spite of the fact that the pirate 'had his way' with the woman in the story. My jaw is still hanging on the ground ... I can't believe that tales of adult relationships, rape, and drug trafficking belong in a book labeled as an independent reader and that it is sold in the juvenile section. Zounds Batman ... what next? A sequel featuring exotic dancers and S&M? (P.S. I returned my copy for a full refund ... wrote this review everywhere I could ... and complained to the publisher about the rating. I hope you do the same.)

    9 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by JenJen for TeensReadToo.com

    Parker and Matt decide to camp out one last time before the weather turns too cold - and stumble upon a dead man.

    Parker swears he saw George Evans (his widowed mother's boyfriend and his least favorite person) at the scene of the crime. This starts a wild, crazy, and somewhat scary adventure.

    Oh wow, this was action from the start! I enjoyed reading THE DEAD MAN IN INDIAN CREEK, and while it was supposed to be a big serious ordeal the boys find themselves in, it was also hilarious at times the fixes they got into along the way!

    A quick mystery for reluctant readers.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    Mysterious

    This book is a really good book. this is a book that you won't waste your time reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2008

    An amazing book

    The Dead Man in Indian Creek is a mystery about two boys named Parker and Mathew. One summer day the two boys decide to go camping at Indian creek. Parker decides to wake up early and go look for birds. But instead of finding a bird they find the dead man and they know he has been murdered because of the bullet hole in his head. They quickly run to the police and report it. Mathew¿s Parents are very worried and Mathew would like to just let it go and forget about the whole murder. But Parker will not hear it. He wants to find out who killed the man and why. But soon Parker is way over his head. Read more to find out the whole story. I really like this book because even after the mystery is partially revealed the book is still interesting. And also at the end of the book it gets very action packed. I also like this book because the plot is really believable and the characters are believable too. If I had to rate this book I would rate it five out of five stars because it is very interesting and fun to read. By Ben.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    Great Book!!

    The Dead Man In Indian Creek was a great book because it really could have happened. Parker and his friend set off for a camping trip to Indian Creek. When they¿re there some mysterious twists happen and they find a dead man. At the same moment Parker sees his mom¿s his boyfriend whom he does not like. So he blames him. But things might not turn out like they seem. Opinion I thought this was a great book because it starts you off knowing who did the crime and you¿re sure of it. But different twists and turns get you thinking about it a little bit. If I could rate this book with stars I would rate it five stars, two thumbs up. Also liked that this book¿s real action happened on Halloween night. It probably wasn¿t the most fun Halloween for Parker and his friend.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2001

    SPOOKY!!

    This book is amazing it has so much mystery and suspense you have to read this it is great the characters are interesting and easy to relate 2.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 1999

    This book is great for people who love to find out what will happen next!

    This book really makes you keep reading on and on, because you want to find out what will happen next. I think that it has a good plot, because it relates to real life situations. There is a boy named Parker, who is trying really hard to get his mother's boyfriend in trouble for killing a guy. But Parker isn't for sure but is trying really hard to find out. His friend Matt is also helping figure out who kiled the man in the creek.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    This book is very interesting and suspenseful. I love how a lot

    This book is very interesting and suspenseful. I love how a lot of the events take place near Halloween. This book is probably best to be read by readers about 10 or older. I do not really think it would be a good thing for a little kid that is 7, 8, 9, or less to read it. There is nothing too bad, just talk about drugs. Anyways, this is a great story by my favorite author. I have my own copy of it and i find myself reading it over and over. if you are 10 or over, I WOULD RECCOMEND THIS BOOK FOR ANY MYSTERY LOVERS! :)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2012

    Great Book

    This book was sooooo great, I could barely put it down with all of the suspense and mystery. There are so many mysteries throughout each and every chapter. I love the main characters' personalities. It helps you understand who they are and what are like. It's just a must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Mary dowing hanh.......GEINUS!!

    I love this book.. so awesome... Iove Jennifer

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Haun did it again!

    Mary downing haun has made yet another great book and is not afraid to show it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Book reader

    This book is very dramatic therefor one of the best ones i have read!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Must Ead- A Twisted Classic

    It is preety much a classic 2 boys against a bad guy with a 'Romancitc' twist,modern day problems,and mixed up crushes. A total must read!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    Cool

    I love the way the auhor wrote the story

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    review for Rachel's Book Reviews

    I thought this was a fun, short, spooky read. It has drug abuse mentioned, and a small mention of underage drinking, but it isn't a main feature, it's talking about this remote area of the forest. I liked this book, it wasn't bone chilling creepy, but it was a good (and a little humorous) story on Halloween.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Pretty good

    I liked the book, overall. Sone parts of it were kinda boring, and it wasnt really a scary story to me....

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    AWESOME

    My teacher read this book to us it is really great!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

    peace everybody

    i read this book and i like it it looks scary but it isnt and it is written by my favorite author and my favorite celrbrity is jaden smith and his sis willow smith like jaden cause he is hot and he is a good singer and actor and i like willow cause she is a good singer and actor

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2011

    dead man in indain creek reveiw

    it was the best book i ever read

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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