Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls Series #1)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls Series #1)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls Series #1)

Down the Rabbit Hole (Echo Falls Series #1)

4.5 93
by Peter Abrahams

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Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets.

Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's

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Welcome to Echo Falls, home of a thousand secrets.

Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or at least her shoes are. And getting them back will mean getting tangled up in a murder investigation as complicated as the mysteries solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes. With soccer practice, schoolwork, and the lead role in her town's production of Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid is swamped. But as things in Echo Falls keep getting curiouser and curiouser, Ingrid realizes she must solve the murder on her own -- before it's too late!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Teenaged Ingrid, cast as the lead in Alice in Wonderland, discovers a mystery surrounding her school's theater. "Readers who stick with this intelligent novel will be clamoring for answers-and more of Ingrid," according to PW. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
It is hard for adult writers to make the leap to children's books. Abrahams, a best-selling author, has made a graceful entry with his first young adult novel. He develops an intriguing character in Ingrid, an eighth grader who is obviously brilliant and, just as obviously, stubborn about where she is going to focus her mind. While she devours and thinks about Sherlock Holmes constantly, she is not going to buckle into the authority of a math teacher who seems pleased to give her failing grades. Nor is she going to admit to a police chief (and father of her first potential boyfriend) that she was at a crime scene just before a woman was murdered. When she discovers she left her red track shoes at the scene, she steals out of the house to reclaim them, linking herself to the crime and strengthening her resolve to discover the real culprit. There are lots of questions, some innocent sleuthing, and action from beginning to end. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 11 up.
—Susie Wilde
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2005: Abrahams is known as a writer of crime stories for adults; this is his first foray into YA literature in a book that will appeal to all ages. The main character is Ingrid, who lives with her brother and parents in a small town in Connecticut. Ingrid is a good athlete, a usually conscientious student, and a talented actor; she is an unlikely person to get embroiled in a murder investigation. It all starts when she walks home from a soccer practice, gets lost, and is assisted by a kind woman who helps her get a taxi home. Later it turns out this nice woman has been murdered, and that Ingrid had inadvertently left her soccer shoes at the woman's house hours before the murder. Ingrid sneaks out at night to return to the crime scene to retrieve her cleats; while there, she has to hide from a stranger who also has come to the room where the murder occurred. When others are accused of the murder, she knows they probably aren't guilty, but how can she come clean about her own role in all this? Ingrid's friendship with Joey starts turning into a promising romance; Joey's father is the Chief of Police in Echo Falls. There are numerous interesting relationships: Ingrid and her Grampy, who surreptitiously teac hes her to shoot and to drive; Ingrid's brother Ty, a promising athlete whose father puts a lot of pressure on him to succeed; the acting company putting on a version of Alice in Wonderland, starring Ingrid as Alice and perhaps featuring the true murderer. Ingrid is one of those intrepid younger teens who push the rules. She is driven by her determination to catch the true murderer of the woman who was kind to her. As in allgood mysteries, the setting (the town of Echo Falls and the home of Ingrid and her family) seems completely real and the hero acts in ways most of us readers wouldn't dare to attempt. Good, smart entertainment. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, HarperTrophy, 407p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-An avid reader of Sherlock Holmes, Ingrid Levin-Hill, 13, is also a fleet-footed soccer player with a knack for stage acting-skills that come in handy when she finds herself caught in a police investigation following the murder of an eccentric woman. The deceased was associated with the Prescott Players, a local theater troupe in which Ingrid lands the title role in a production of Alice in Wonderland. Plot scenes incorporate play rehearsals, family life, middle school, and soccer games along with plenty of intriguing twists and mounting tension. Taking courage from her crusty grandfather, who refuses to sell his farm to an affluent developer, Ingrid acts with aplomb as she secretly undertakes a series of suspenseful adventures to track down the killer. She also maintains the cool-headedness to enjoy the friendship of the police chief's son, Joey Strade, while keeping the officers who'd like to question her at bay. Ingrid's poise, however, is tempered by her self-doubt and troubled dreams, making her a believable human. She and the other main characters are all solidly drawn, including the newest member of her family, a droopy-eyed dog named Nigel. Deft use of literary allusions and ironic humor add further touches of class to a topnotch mystery.-Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Impatient with mother for being late for her ride to soccer, Ingrid Levin-Hill, eighth-grade Sherlock Holmes fan and amateur actress, makes an impulsive decision to walk, inadvertently becoming a witness in the murder case of Cracked-up Katie, the weird lady in the rundown house on the wrong side of town. Ingrid is afraid to come forward with her first-hand knowledge, fearing her parents' reprimand for leaving the neighborhood. Landing the lead role as Alice in the town's playhouse production of "Alice in Wonderland," she becomes more curious about the playhouse's past performers and a possible connection to Katie's youth. As the police investigation gets further away from the truth and the wrong suspects are arrested, Ingrid takes increasingly daring risks to solve the case herself and eliminate the evidence she left behind indicating her own suspicious involvement. Abrahams has crafted a suspenseful page-turning drama complete with misleading clues and gutsy midnight escapades that make for thrilling intrigue right up to the culminating drowning-in-the-river scene. Ingrid's plucky, if not foolhardy, behavior will have readers both rooting and worrying for her simultaneously as she continues, like Alice, to fall deeper and deeper into the mystery's unfolding. Harrowingly absorbing. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Echo Falls Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.12(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Down the Rabbit Hole

An Echo Falls Mystery
By Peter Abrahams

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Peter Abrahams
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060737034

Chapter One

Ingrid Levin-Hill, three weeks past her thirteenth birthday, sat thinking in her orthodontist's waiting room. You're born cute. Babies are cute. Not hard to guess why -- it's so everyone will forgive them for being such a pain. You grow a little older, and people say, "What beautiful hair," or "Get a load of those baby blues," or something nice that keeps you thinking you're still on the cuteness track. Then you hit twelve or thirteen and boom, they tell you that everything needs fixing. Waiting in the wings are the orthodontist, the dermatologist, the contact lens guy, the hair-tinting guy, maybe even the nose-job guy. You look at yourself in the mirror, really look at yourself, for the first time. And what do you see? Oh my God.

Two orthodontists divided the business in Echo Falls: Dr. Lassiter, who didn't mind pulling a tooth or two to speed things along, and Dr. Binkerman, who liked to say he'd turn in his badge before sacrificing a single tooth. One kind of parents sent their kids to Dr. Lassiter. Ingrid, whose parents were of the other kind, was well into her second year with Dr. Binkerman, and behind her braces lurked the same jumble of teeth she'd come in with in the first place. And bythe way, what stupid badge was he talking about? Ingrid flipped to another page of Seventeen. The glossy paper made an angry snapping sound.

Flirting Tips:
Where the Hotties Are

In the weight room, of course. So
it's important to get down with
all that weight room terminology.
Cut, ripped, reps, lats, pecs,
curls, dips, jacked, juiced -- is this
a weird lingo or what? Let's start
with reps. Reps is simply short for --


Ingrid looked up. Mary Jane, the chairside assistant, stood in the doorway that led back to the operatories, the expression on her face a little exasperated, as though maybe she'd been calling Ingrid for some time. If so, Ingrid really hadn't heard. Reading -- it didn't matter what -- always did that to her.

"All set," said Mary Jane. Ingrid followed her. There were two chairside assistants: Mary Jane, who wore her gray hair in a bun and always had circles under her eyes, and a younger one, who changed every two months or so. Mary Jane motioned Ingrid to the chair and raised it just as Dr. Binkerman strode in, flexing his surgically gloved hands.

"And how's Ingrid today?" he said, looming into extreme close-up, his gaze locking on her teeth. Like Sherlock Holmes -- The Complete Sherlock Holmes had been sitting on her bedside table for years -- Ingrid was a habitual noticer of little things. Sherlock Holmes believed you could find out just about all you needed to know about people from little things; his method, as he told Dr. Watson more than once, was founded on the observation of trifles. Trifles were things like the single but surprisingly long white hair poking out of Dr. Binkerman's left nostril; the sleepy seed, lima bean colored, in the corner of his right eye; the pinprick-size blackhead on the end of his nose, a millimeter off-center. All these trifles added up to the glamorous Dr. Binkerman, hard-riding sheriff of the overbite range.

And what was the question? How's Ingrid today? "She's fine," said Ingrid.

"Open, please," said Dr. Binkerman. He peered inside her mouth, felt around in back, where the screws were, with his rubbery fingers. "Been wearing the appliance?" he said.

"Uh-huh," said Ingrid.

"Every night?" Dr. Binkerman drew back, looking at her whole face for the first time, fingers out of her mouth now so she could speak clearly ...


Excerpted from Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams Copyright © 2006 by Peter Abrahams. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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