Murdered, My Sweet

Murdered, My Sweet

4.9 15
by Joan Lowery Nixon
     
 

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Jenny Jakes and her mother, a famous mystery writer, travel to San Antonio to see their cousin, Arnold Harmony, who's made his fortune in the chocolate business. Harmony, an eccentric millionaire, wants his will read publicly before he dies; since everyone wants a piece of the pie, this announcement causes quite a stir. When Harmony's son is murdered just before the…  See more details below

Overview

Jenny Jakes and her mother, a famous mystery writer, travel to San Antonio to see their cousin, Arnold Harmony, who's made his fortune in the chocolate business. Harmony, an eccentric millionaire, wants his will read publicly before he dies; since everyone wants a piece of the pie, this announcement causes quite a stir. When Harmony's son is murdered just before the reading, Jenny's mother decides to spring into action as a real-life detective. But Jenny's mother doesn't have a clue about solving a real crime, so it's up to Jenny to use her wits, not only to save her mother's reputation, but also to keep herself from being killed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
They're not always deep and they're not always tense, but there's something comfortingly familiar about Edgar winner Nixon's (The Other Side of Dark) sure-footed mystery novels. Her fans will be right at home with her latest, in which a teen manages to solve a crime and give the credit to her ditzy mother, a famous mystery writer. Jenny Jakes and her mom travel to San Antonio for the rather unorthodox reading of her still-living millionaire cousin's will. No sooner do they arrive than bodies start to fall. With two murders to solve and several disgruntled relatives as suspects, Jenny helps her mom and an obliging police detective to track the killers. Complicating her life is the charming Carlos, a bellboy who seems unusually interested in Jenny's actionsis he just a potential boyfriend, or something more sinister? Although the plot is somewhat predictable, Jenny, her mother and Carlos at least are lively characters, and there's some welcome (and insightful) humor in their relationships. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
VOYA - Jane Van Wiemokly
Fifteen-year-old Jenny Jakes's mother is a famous, if somewhat absentminded, mystery writer who is beginning to believe she can solve real murder mysteries as well as her fictional detective sleuth and the police. On a trip to San Antonio to attend the reading of wealthy cousin Arnold Harmony's will (though he is still alive), bodies begin piling up. Mrs. Jakes attempts to help solve the murders, and Jenny decides to unobtrusively aid her, so her mother will not make a fool of herself and ruin her professional reputation as a solver of mysteries, even if it is only in novels. Making himself insistently helpful to Jenny is bellboy Carlos, and the two try to sort through the alibis and motives of the various relatives and employees of Arnold Harmony. Jenny believes Carlos likes her, but she wonders if he is just using her to get information to pass on to a local newspaper columnist. The supporting characters are stereotyped personalities. There is the hard-as-nails personal business manager, the spoiled grandson with bad business sense, the evasive wife, and the "wronged" business associate, to name a few. This story reads like a spoof of television series murder mysteries: characters we know, a run-of-the-mill mystery plot, amazing insights leading to the solution, but fare that we enjoy nonetheless. VOYA Codes: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects, Broad general YA appeal, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10Not one of Nixon's better productions. Jenny, 15, accompanies her mystery-writer mother, Madeline Jakes, to San Antonio for a distant relative's birthday party. When the elderly man's son is murdered, Madeline and Jenny spring into action. To the delight of her fans, including the homicide division's Detective Sergeant Sam Donovan, Madeline takes on the persona of her fictional female detective. However, it's her bright, capable daughter who really solves the case, feeding her flaky mother ideas and possibilities in a desperate attempt to protect the writer's reputation. While the famous-writer-mother scenario has distinct potential, it's overdone. Madeline's ineptness and Jenny's insight and intelligence are carried to ridiculous extremes. Detective Donovan; Jenny's love interest, Carlos; and the suspects are all stock characters. The whole complicated setup reads like a poor episode of Murder, She Wrote. This is less than adequate fare for an author of Nixon's caliber. Follow Jenny's advice: refer mystery-loving teens to Sue Grafton or Mary Higgins Clark.Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
An overweening mother who's meant to be scatterbrained and a murder that never matters are at the center of this cliché-filled mystery from Nixon (Search for the Shadowman, 1996, etc.).

Jenny Jakes and her mother, the famous mystery writer Madeline Jakes, are in San Antonio for a visit: A distant cousin, billionaire Arnold Harmony, plans to celebrate his birthday by having his will read aloud to the beneficiaries. His plans are interrupted when his son, Porter, is murdered at the hotel. Madeline's fans believe she can crack the case, but Jenny knows better: Her dithery mother considers herself an expert on the criminal mind, but can't figure out a mystery she didn't create. Instead, Jenny solves the murder, always careful to credit Madeline as the sleuth. The premise of Jenny's covering for her mother is funny, but it goes so smoothly that it becomes boring; when the murder is reported in the newspaper, Jenny's bell-hop romantic interest, Carlos, also ensures that the story spins Madeline's way. Nixon treats the San Antonio setting as a place readers know, dropping names without describing the place; meanwhile, the characters simply chase around inside the hotel. For savvy mystery-lovers, the detective work is sloppy: The murder scene isn't sealed off, the real detective puts up with contemptuous witnesses, and he allows Madeline (and Jenny and Carlos) in on his investigation. That no one thinks to protect Logan, a character who announces that he knows all and is then murdered, is irresponsible.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440419884
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
01/13/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.63(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

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Meet the Author

Joan Lowery Nixon is the only four-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Best Young Adult Mystery Award.

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