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The Morgue and Me

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Overview

“A throw-back style detective novel that readers of all stripes should pay attention to.” —The Los Angeles Times 

Christopher just needed a job to kill time the summer after graduation. He didn’t expect to stumble across a murder cover-up when he was hired as a janitor at the morgue. With the sheriff as his prime suspect, he turns to Tina, a gorgeous newspaper reporter, to help him get to the bottom of the case. Suddenly they find themselves in a full-blown investigation ...

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Overview

“A throw-back style detective novel that readers of all stripes should pay attention to.” —The Los Angeles Times 

Christopher just needed a job to kill time the summer after graduation. He didn’t expect to stumble across a murder cover-up when he was hired as a janitor at the morgue. With the sheriff as his prime suspect, he turns to Tina, a gorgeous newspaper reporter, to help him get to the bottom of the case. Suddenly they find themselves in a full-blown investigation involving bribery, kidnappings, more murders…and his best friend. 

With plenty of plot twists, red herrings, and dry wit, The Morgue and Me is a page-turning modern take on the classic detective genre perfect for fans of Veronica Mars and Shelter.
 

“A dark and stellar debut.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
“Fast-paced and full of red herrings, it’ll keep you guessing.” —New York Post

Edgar Award nominee
Agatha Award nominee
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults nominee

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ford's dark and stellar debut, which nicely updates many classic mystery tropes, tells the story of high school valedictorian Christopher Newell, who takes a summer job at the hospital morgue before heading to college. Naturally, he stumbles across something he shouldn't-$15,000 in cash and a dead body that the medical examiner has ruled a suicide, even though the body had been shot five times in the torso. Certain that the medical examiner and the sheriff are connected, Christopher starts to investigate alongside Tina, a sexy young reporter for the local paper. The plot covers a wide range of characters, including Christopher's ex-neighbor (and crush), Julia; her police officer older brother, Tim; the town's mayor and his daughter; and Christopher's best friend, Mike, an amateur bookie. Christopher and Tina uncover interlocking mysteries involving blackmail, corruption and murder, which span years of the town's history. Ford spins a tale that's complex but not confusing, never whitewashing some of the harsher crimes people commit. The result is a story that holds its own as a mainstream mystery as well as a teen novel. Ages 12-up. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist
A satisfyingly grim departure from the usual squeaky-clean teen sleuthing.
VOYA - Deanna Ariel Coster
The Morgue and Me is a good and enjoyable book. There are well-developed characters, and it is on the line between believable and not. The strengths are how the story progresses and how Ford slowly puts the mystery puzzle pieces together, making you wonder how he did it. Reviewer: Deanna Ariel Coster
VOYA - Diane P. Tuccillo
When eighteen-year-old Christopher lands a janitorial job at the local morgue during the summer before college, snooping gets the best of him. He deciphers that a newly arrived corpse, officially declared a suicide, is actually a murder victim. After enlisting the help of Tina, an attractive, brusque, and pushy reporter from the local newspaper that ran a brief article on the discovery of the body, she and Christopher begin to investigate. Their efforts lead them to evidence of bribery and cover-up that points to the sheriff, the medical examiner, the mayor, shifty lawyers, and, to his great shock and surprise, even Christopher's long-time best friend. As the unlikely sleuths move closer to solving the murder, they suspect that people and situations are not what they seem. Soon it becomes difficult to know whom to trust, especially when Christopher's younger brother is kidnapped. The story captures attention as layers of proof are uncovered, danger intensifies, and unexpected roles surface. Characters are adequately developed, even though Tina is rather irritating. Demands for the return of a missing memory card containing implicating photos, illogically expecting that they had never been reproduced elsewhere, comprise an unfortunate loose plot hinge. Despite this flaw, teens who are willing to suspend disbelief and are drawn to such compelling "truth behind a suicide" mysteries as Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin (Dial, 2001/VOYA October 2001), will enjoy discovering the solution to this one too. Reviewer: Diane P. Tuccillo
Children's Literature - Naomi Williamson
Eighteen year old Christopher was ready to start college, but needed a summer job. Since he had been caught in the newly constructed university planetarium, before it was open to the public, he knew he would not be getting a job on the campus where his parents both taught and where he planned to start classes in the fall. The next best thing was a job at the morgue. Christopher had a flair for the dramatic and his life's goal was to be a spy, so this job fit right in. He never dreamed that he would discover a murder that was being covered up, be embroiled in investigating the cover-up, and be working with Tina, a young reporter, on the murder investigation that also included bribery and other suspicious events leading them to some high ranking people in the town. He definitely never imagined that his little brother would be kidnapped as a result of Christopher's involvement in the investigation. Ford's mystery includes a real knowledge of journalism and law with a few "I didn't see that coming" instances that make this book exciting to the last page. Reviewer: Naomi Williamson
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—The summer before Christopher Newell is set to start college, he gets a job in the morgue because it's his life's goal to become a spy and working there should teach him about forensic pathology, if nothing else. Instead he discovers a murder cover-up that points to town officials and close friends. As he works to discover whodunit, the plot thickens with bribery, blackmail, murder, and revenge. With everyone suspect, and danger deepening, it seems that the only person Christopher can trust is Tina McIntyre, an insanely hot, brazen reporter who wants to boost her career with a killer story. Together they might discover the truth, but at what cost? Ford makes his debut with a solid mystery infused with dry wit, but it's his likable, quirky detectives and their crackling chemistry that make The Morgue and Me anything but stiff.—Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO
Kirkus Reviews
A Michigan teen discovers small-town administrators have blood on their hands in this methodically paced mystery debut. Eighteen-year-old Christopher, whose "life's goal is to become a spy, or at least a spyish-type figure," takes a summer job at the local morgue in the hopes of learning a little forensic pathology. But instead he ends up honing his skills as an amateur sleuth when he manages to link the murder of a small-time hood to a much bigger blackmail scheme involving shady politicians, crooked cops and an environmental disaster cover-up. While Christopher's character is sympathetic and the murder mystery well-constructed, many of the secondary characterizations are drawn in broad, cartoonish strokes, and a romantic subplot involving a classmate stalls out, only serving as an annoying distraction from the main event. But since true YA mysteries are scarce, larger libraries looking to satisfy genre fans may still want to add this one to the collection. (Mystery. 14-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670010967
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/25/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 458,380
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: HL720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 5.82 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

John C. Ford (johncfordbooks.com and @fordjohnc) is the author of The Morgue and Me, a YA take on the classic detective novel that was nominated for an Edgar Award and short-listed for five different state teen book awards.  A former litigator who practiced in the nation's capital, he eventually returned to his love of writing fiction, and to his hometown outside Detroit, Michigan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!

    This was a good book. It was suprising. I wish that thebrelationships would go somewhere, but other than that a fantastic read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mindful of the teen noir movie Brick, fans will enjoy the most insane summer of Christopher's young lif

    In Petoskey, Michigan eighteen year old Christopher Newell may be his high school Valedictorian and won a regents Scholarship to Northwestern Michigan University, but he plans to become a spy though he has no idea how one applies for the job; only that it is cool and a woman magnet vocation. Meanwhile he obtains a job for the summer at the morgue so he can receive on the job training in forensic pathology. -------------

    While most of his job is filing and clean up, he comes across some odd information involving the cover up by crooked politicians hiding a toxic disaster. As he digs deeper, Christopher begins connecting further dots including a tie to a local felon. However, now that he has enough information to bring down a conspiracy fostered by a criminal industrial political complex, he has no idea who to turn to with his information as he distrusts everyone except a classmate he wants to date. Soon Christopher believes that someone is watching his every move; either that he figures or he has become paranoid. ---------------

    THE MORGUE AND ME opens with the teen explaining how he just shot someone and now is seeing a shrink who accuses him of disassociation; not a good thing for a cop or an espionage agent. The story line just takes off from there as Christopher explains what happened during the craziest but most wonderful summer of his life as the young hero begins to tie together the conspiracy that engulfs Petoskey. Young adult fans will relish the class valedictorian turn hard boiled teen detective Mindful of the teen noir movie Brick, fans will enjoy the most insane summer of Christopher's young life.----------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    The Morgue and Me is a well-developed book with plenty of thrill

    The Morgue and Me is a well-developed book with plenty of thrills and surprises. It all starts when Christopher decides to spend his summer working at a morgue. Everything was normal until there was an autopsy taking place there. Curious Christopher sneaks into his boss's office to try and sneak a look through the window, but ends up finding 15,000 dollars cash in a briefcase. Later, Christopher sneaks into the room by himself to get a good look at the body.He finds five bullet holes in the stomache of the corpse, even though the cause of death was written as suicide. Someone had murdered the man, but who? This is what Christopher is determined to find out. I would recommend this book to anybody and everybody. First, this book has a little bit of a relationship going on between Christopher and Tina, who he meets on page 37. Together they find clues to help solve the mystery. They also get pretty comfortable with each other. Also, this book has lots of intense page-turners. One of the many examples is on page 96, where a secret car starts following him home . Christophr has no idea who he is and what he wants. This event adds to the building climax this book has to offer. I would give this book five out of five stars because, like I said before, this book has everything. It has an interesting plot, a mini relationship, and a detailed description throughout the book. If you have not already read this book, I would suggest reading it very soon.

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  • Posted April 3, 2012

    The morgue and me is a very exciting book based on how a teenage

    The morgue and me is a very exciting book based on how a teenage boy has to solve a murder case that he finds out about while working in the morgue. Him and his partner Tina will go through all of therre hard days of work just to solve this case and for Tina to get her big break in her newspaper career. Overall 5 out of 5 one of those can not put down this book kind of books. Highly suggested!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

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