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"Missing Grace" is one of a new crop of American Girl Mysteries just in time to offer summer reading fun for your own American Girl (and her grownup!) This is the fourth A.G. Mystery title to feature the ever-resourceful cub reporter Kit Kittredge, who always manages to triumph through the struggles of the Great Depression.
Fans will recognize the "Grace" in the title as Kit's adopted Basset Hound, who recently has earned some fame as a local hero. Unfortunately, the Kittredge's fussy new boarder is unimpressed by Grace's celebrity status, and insists that the loyal hound sleep out on the porch; Kit's aggravation over their separation turns to anguish after Grace's first night outside, when her loveable dog mysteriously vanishes!
Is Grace's disappearance somehow connected to the recent rash of show-dog thefts in the area? Kit is hot on the trail, along with her best friends Ruthie and Stirling. Which leads will turn into dead ends? There are enough red herrings to keep the mystery going, as well as sufficient clues that lead up to a plausible conclusion without loose ends. Also, unlike some other juvenile mysteries in which the kid-sleuths are unnecessarily reckless, Kit & Co. wisely seek advice and assistance from some trusted adults and, eventually, the authorities in order to nab the culprit.
Along the way, we meet some engaging new characters, both old and young, and learn a bit about the world of dog breeding and showing, with perhaps some insight into Grace's background before she became Kit's beloved pet. Like every A.G. book, this one also features a small non-fiction section in the back, with photographs and interesting tidbits from the past. All in all, another solid American Girl Mystery. My girl and I both enjoyed it.