Rescuing Seneca Crane

( 9 )

Overview

When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three are becoming friends . . .until Seneca disappears. There's no stopping Kari and Lucas from jumping on the trail and tracking her down. Even when it leads to the heart of the ...

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Rescuing Seneca Crane

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Overview

When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three are becoming friends . . .until Seneca disappears. There's no stopping Kari and Lucas from jumping on the trail and tracking her down. Even when it leads to the heart of the Scottish highlands!

Following in the spine-tingling tracks of The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Susan Runholt's second book featuring super sleuths Kari and Lucas is just as smart and fast-paced as the first!

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
[T]he girls' friendship, and the colorful, well-developed characters and setting make for an enjoyable, nuanced mystery.
VOYA - Paula Brehm-Heeger
Female teenage sleuths Kari and her best friend Lucas, who solved their first case in The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Viking, 2008/VOYA April 2008) are back to unravel another baffling crime. While traveling through Scotland, the pair befriend fifteen-year-old piano prodigy, Seneca Crane. Following Seneca's opening performance at the Edinburgh Festival, Kari and Lucas go backstage to congratulate her but find only Seneca's stunned mother, stepfather, and personal tutor who inform the girls that Seneca has been kidnapped. Never the type to wait around for instructions, Kari and Lucas leap into action on their own. After gathering clues from a three-year-old boy who secretly witnessed the kidnapping, the girls travel across Scotland to a foreboding castle that they believe holds the key to Seneca's whereabouts and the secret to who is behind her disappearance. The real draw here for the target audience of young teen girls will likely be less about the story's suspense and more about the clever teamwork of Kari and Lucas. The mystery is enjoyable, but the list of suspects is relatively short. Many readers may have a good idea of whodunit long before the heroines put their daring rescue scheme into motion. The thoughtful descriptions of the Scottish landscape and gripping writing that brings to life moments like the terrifying storm rolling in over the Scottish hills as the girls rush toward the tale's climax will grab readers' attention and leave them waiting anxiously for the next Kari and Lucas adventure. Reviewer: Paula Brehm-Heeger
Children's Literature - Amanda MacGregor
The second book in the "Kari and Lucas Mystery" series revolves around 14-year-old best friends, Kari and Lucas, who find the kidnapped piano prodigy, Seneca Crane, in Scotland. Kari and Lucas are traveling with Kari's mother, a writer, who is working on a story about Seneca. The girls all become friends and spend some time enjoying Edinburgh and learning from each other. Kari and Lucas think Seneca must have a great life, but they discover she is longing for normalcy. Seneca's life goes from stressful and overscheduled to surreal when she is kidnapped. The ransom note left in her dressing room specifies that no one go to the police or the kidnappers will kill Seneca. With Kari's mother conveniently out of town and unreachable, Kari and Lucas set off to track Seneca down on their own. Relying on clues given to them by the only witness, a child, the girls follow what few leads they have and put together the rest of the story thanks to their keen observation skills and determination. Finding Seneca proves to be easier than one would think, but in order to actually rescue her, the girls will need to pull off a daring—and somewhat implausible—escape. Solid writing and plenty of mystery, scheming, and speculation fuel Kari and Lucas's adventure. Lots of dialogue and action will keep readers interested even when the rescue feels far-fetched. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Runholt's second mystery starring 14-year-old best friends Kari and Lucas offers readers light intrigue in a lush Scottish setting. When Kari's mother, a magazine reporter, is sent to Edinburgh to interview Seneca Crane, a 15-year-old piano prodigy, the girls get to tag along. Upon meeting Seneca, they realize that the young pianist is not only talented, but also very lonely. She is under the constant tutelage of her mother, stepfather, and overbearing tutor. The three girls quickly become friends despite Seneca's hectic rehearsal schedule. When she is kidnapped after a performance, Kari and Lucas sidestep some shady characters and supersleuth their way to a daring rescue. Readers will admire the girls' independence and tenacity, even if Kari's narrative voice is a bit silly at times. (She uses the word "meep" as a substitution for foul language.) Reluctant readers will enjoy the pacing, which neither rushes the mystery nor drags out the clues. The author skillfully weaves facts about Scottish culture and geography into the narrative while the rainy Highlands setting offers a bit of drama to a somewhat tame mystery.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Adventure compels despite a slow start with too much exposition as the two girl detectives from The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (2008) leave the art world behind and befriend a classical pianist, Seneca Crane, at the start of her concert career. Explanations about the previous episode, home backgrounds and preferred slang of the two is necessary to orient readers but drags on too long. The action starts in Edinburgh, where, at a music festival, Kari and Lucas find the teen virtuoso both awe-inspiring and pitiable for the lack of normalcy in her life-but that's before she's kidnapped. As events get rolling, the girls' attempts to foil the kidnappers and rescue Seneca keep the pages turning. These girls are newly discovering the appeal of the male sex, which supplies much of the humor. It's all more than a bit unrealistic, as much of their independence is based on their free use of a wealthy, indulgent parent's credit card. While the mystery will puzzle no one, the clues and the choice of rescue plans are both eminently logical. Tepid fair for fans of safe mysteries. (Mystery. 8-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Susan Runholt's (Viking, 2009) "Kari and Lucas Mystery" (Viking, 2009) takes place in Scotland, where Kari's mother is writing a story about teenage piano prodigy, Seneca Crane, who is performing at the Edinburgh Music Festival. Kari and her best friend Lucas have accompanied her mother, and they befriend Seneca, who leads a very restricted life and is lonely. The three girls have fun hanging out together between concerts. When Seneca is kidnapped, Kari and Lucas, with the help of some clues given to them by a boy for whom they baby sit and who witnessed the kidnapping, attempt to rescue her. Narrator Krista Sutton does a commendable job of telling the story. Her voice is especially suitable for playing the role of the teenage girls, which she does with suitable drama. She is also deft at speaking in a Scottish burr and seamlessly moves from one character's voice to another. Give this to students who enjoyed Susan Runholt's The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Viking, 2008) or other light mysteries. A secondary purchase for most middle school and public libraries, except where there is a large following of the series.—Kathy Miller, Baldwin Junior High School, Baldwin City, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670062911
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/20/2009
  • Series: A Kari and Lucas Mystery Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 730,322
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 930L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.56 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Runholt did so much research on the setting for this book that she can speak with a Scottish burr. She is a music lover, a world traveler, and a resident of the metropolis of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Seneca Crane teaches art and offers fun

    What would I do without authors like Susan Runholt and Blue Balliett? They create compelling YA/middle-grade fiction that can be read by adults--me--while also throwing in a valuable storyline that revolves around the world of art.

    In Rescuing Seneca Crane, Runholt introduces us to the world of symphony orchestras. Seneca Crane is a teen piano prodigy, who befriends our good-natured and intelligent heroines, Kari and Lucas, two kids on vacation in Scotland. Yes, they have the mom chaperone, but these girls are cut loose from parental observation just long enough to land in the middle of a kidnapping.

    Yep, our piano prodigy Seneca Crane has been kidnapped for ransom money. And only Kari and Lucus have the goods on her whereabouts and the identity of her captors (with links to some adults closely linked to Seneca, so perhaps an inside job??).

    Kari and Lucas are the kind of teenaged heroines your look for, full of brass and sass and lots of personality, which Runholt brings across with her inimitable knack for channeling the voice of young girls. The author also manages to contrive a plot that gets the adults out of the picture, believably, so our heroines can match their wits and MacGyver-like skills to the rescue of their friend. But time is running out...and Runholt leaves you on the edge of your seat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Outstanding Kari & Lucas Mystery

    I am fortunate to have received an advanced reader copy of this book:
    BookDescription
    When Kari and Lucas first see Seneca Crane up on stage, playing the piano in front of hundreds of people, they are in awe. She is beautiful. She is amazingly talented. And she is only thirteen! But then they get to know her at the Edinburgh Arts Festival and realize that she envies them. Soon the three are becoming friends . . .until Seneca disappears. There's no stopping Kari and Lucas from jumping on the trail and tracking her down. Even when it leads to the heart of the Scottish highlands!

    My Review
    From the same author of The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Rescuing Seneca Crane is another GREAT Kari and Lucas mystery. Again she has created an interesting and intelligent story for these two junior detectives. The characters display a friendship that is both touching and true-to-life. I enjoy the way the two girls complement each other and defer to each other's strengths when necessary. Boys enter the picture in this book, and Kari and Lucas are typical girly girls, but smart enough to know that some boys are too old for them.

    This time their adventure takes them to Scotland, and I enjoyed reading the descriptive narration. The excitement never stops as the girls try to find out what happened to their new friend, Seneca. I can't wait for Ms. Runholt to come out with book #3, and I hope to see the character of Seneca again in a future book. Yes, this is a children's book - about ages 9-15, but I enjoyed it just as much as my grown-up mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    In-Ter-Esting :)

    This was a really good book. I loved all of the suspense and humor that the author was able to fit between the two covers. Keep it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    This book has been out longer than the hunger games

    Its obviosly by a diff auther god u nimbwit

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Read

    Bad title. Thiut it was hunger games.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2011

    Music

    Best BOOK EVER

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Andrea for TeensReadToo

    Kari and Lucas love to solve mysteries and continue to do so in this second novel. Seneca Crane is a thirteen-year-old piano player. But she's not just a normal piano-playing teenager - she's world famous! Kari and Lucas are in awe of her, but when they meet Seneca at a festival, they realize how jealous Seneca is of their normal life. Soon after they become friends, Seneca disappears, and it's up to Kari and Lucas to find her. This was another great book in the Kari & Lucas Mystery series. Once again, I think the two friends are great and strong female young adult characters, and would be good role models for tweens. I liked this story better than the first book, THE MYSTERY OF THE THIRD LUCRETIA. I enjoyed having Seneca as a character; she felt real and was another strong female. I think this book would be more interesting to tweens than the first one, since it deals with a kidnapping and a celebrity instead of a piece of art work. And there were more great facts in the story, this one about Scotland. I would definitely recommend this series to tween girls who are looking for a good, light mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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