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Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City

Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City

5.0 11
by Wendelin Van Draanen

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"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

In this pivotal book in the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy tackles the persistent mysteries of her own life. Mysteries like: Who is her father? And why has her mother kept it such a secret? How long can she manage to hide


"The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)" —Midwest Children's Book Review

In this pivotal book in the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy tackles the persistent mysteries of her own life. Mysteries like: Who is her father? And why has her mother kept it such a secret? How long can she manage to hide out in Grams' seniors-only building before someone catches on? Is her mother really planning to marry her boyfriend's father? (Ew.) And why, why is Heather Acosta so nasty?

During one crazy weekend in Las Vegas, with the help of an entire army of Elvis impersonators, Sammy finally gets some answers. But of course knowledge comes at a price—and solving the mysteries of her own life will cost Sammy more than she ever meant to pay. . . .

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it's the drama in Sammy's personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
“Van Draanen offers such an explosive combination of high-stakes sleuthing, hilarity, and breathlessly paced action that it’s impossible to turn the pages fast enough.” —Kirkus Reviews

“There’s no stopping Sammy.”—Publishers Weekly

“An intelligent, gutsy, flawed, and utterly likable heroine.”—Booklist

"Move over, Nancy Drew—a new sleuth is on the scene.”—Girls’ Life

"Think a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books and you’ll be right on target.” —School Library Journal

“A high-quality, high-amp mystery series.” —The Horn Book
“This funny, clever series is NOT for kids only. I challenge the most seasoned mystery reader to guess ‘who done it.’” —Cozies, Capers, and Crimes
“Sammy Keyes comes armed with attitude.” —Orlando Sentinel

“Sammy doesn’t find mysteries to solve—they find her.” —Arizona Republic

“Humor, romance and adventure; this story is an absolute blast.” —Chicago Tribune
“If you haven’t met Sammy Keyes yet, now is the time.” —Children’s Literature

Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
Super sleuth Sammy Keyes has cracked all kinds of cases, including cross-thieving, dognapping, and neighborhood hooliganism. But the biggest mystery in her life, that of her father's identity, remains unsolved. In the popular "Sammy Keyes" series' sixteenth book, the literary world's sassiest child detective has had it. She is tired of her TV-actress mother ignoring her. She's over the anxiety of hiding her living arrangements in Gram's seniors-only building. She is sick of her nemesis, Heather Acosta, making her life miserable. Her relationship with boyfriend Casey is a bright spot, but since her mom is dating Casey's dad, even that is awkward. So when Sammy hears that her mom is eloping to Las Vegas with Casey's dad, she decides to crash the wedding and confront her mother, once and for all. But first she has to find her. Van Draanen stages Sammy's emotional struggles as the antagonist of this page-turning thrill ride in Las Vegas, complete with an army of Elvis impersonators. Sammy tests her sleuthing skills, forges unlikely alliances, and risks everything as the stakes get higher and higher. Non-stop action is balanced with moments of hilarity and insight, while the series' large cast of characters realistically provides a wide range of emotions, making them all the more human. Fans of the series will love the tying up of loose ends at the book's surprising conclusion. Readers new to Sammy who pick up this title will not be confused or disappointed; it easily stands on its own. They may even retrace their steps and find earlier books in the series. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
Kirkus Reviews
Thirteen-year-old Sammy has a habit of uncovering mysteries and finding trouble. In her latest adventure, the dauntless sleuth seeks to decipher the secrets in her own life. Sammy is accustomed to subterfuge, living--covertly--in elderly housing with her grandmother while her mother pursues an acting career. Another enigma is Sammy's father, whose identity her mother refuses to reveal. Sammy also continues her relationship with boyfriend Casey, despite his mother's objections. When Sammy learns her mother is traveling to Las Vegas, possibly to marry Casey's dad, she decides to confront her mother and demand the truth about her father. The result is an impromptu, clandestine trip to Las Vegas. Sammy demonstrates an abundance of ingenuity in her scheming, which includes enlisting an entourage of Elvis impersonators to track down her elusive mother. Yet Van Draanen subtly reveals Sammy's vulnerability beneath her bravado. Through an unlikely collaboration with Casey's sister--and Sammy's longtime nemesis--Heather, Sammy not only discovers insights into Heather's behavior, but gains a greater understanding of her own situation. Sammy's hijinks and a surprisingly poignant ending make this a captivating addition to the series. (Mystery. 10-14)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sammy Keyes Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
770L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN was a classroom teacher for many years before becoming a full-time writer. The books in the Sammy Keyes mystery series have been embraced by critics and readers alike, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief receiving the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best children’s mystery. Wendelin is also the author of many award-winning novels, including Flipped, The Running Dream, Runaway, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Swear to Howdy, The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones, and Wild Bird. You can find her online at WendelinVanDraanen.com and @WendelinVanD, and you can follow Sammy Keyes on Facebook.

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Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
bookcrazedCC More than 1 year ago
Professional reviews and book summaries refer to The Showdown in Sin City as the pivotal book in the Sammy Keyes series, and the story certainly lives up to that description. In the sixteenth book in the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy is on a quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding her own life in this nonstop adventure. The journey begins as Sammy stows away, with backpack and skateboard in hand, in the back of Marissa's car. She takes Las Vegas by storm in search of her mom with the entertaining assistance of a variety of Elvis impersonators. The humor, mystery, plot intrigue, emotional roller coaster ride, and plethora of zany, lovable characters are true to classic Sammy Keyes...Wendelin Van Draanen style. Van Draanen gives her readers an action-packed, poignant story that brings resolution to many of the unanswered questions concerning Sammy's relationships with the major players in her life. This book is so much more than the reveal of Sammy's dad. Van Draanen beautifully brings the major characters together and allows them to experience transformations in their lives and interact with each other in very real, touching ways. She reaches deep down into the heart and soul of each character and brings forth an amazingly powerful, rich story for her readers. Once again, the author mixes laugh-out-loud humor, drama, and suspense to weave an unforgettable, magical story that will delight devoted Sammy Keyes fans and capture first-time readers. She cleverly and meticulously fits all the pieces together to bring a wonderful resolution to the ongoing conflicts and tumultuous relationships in Sammy's world. Put this one at the top of your 2013 reading list!! You'll be glad you did! Comment | Looking for voting buttons? Sorry, we don't let customers vote on their own reviews.
chatter1 More than 1 year ago
I finished Showdown in Sin City the day I got it. IT IS ONE AMAZING BOOK. I have been reading the series for several years, and each book keeps me coming back for more adventure and fun in the next story. Sammy hits the streets of Las Vegas in typical Sammy sleuth style. Only this time the mystery revolves around her...finding her mom and discovering the answers to questions about her own life. The author does an incredible job of unraveling the mystery of who Sammy's dad is--holding her readers in suspense until the very end. Speaking of endings...this one is perfect. The perfect ending to a perfectly written book. Thanks Wendelin Van Draanen for respecting your readers by writing great books with smart, interesting, realistic characters we can relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book in the world totaly worth eleven dollars and 10 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing, suspencial book. It is a MUST READ book. Cant wait too read the next one thats coming out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Van Draanen has outdone herself. This is easily the best book in the series. By temporarily moving the mystery element to the sidelines, she has given all her main characters' personalities new depth and life. I finished this book content with the ending in a way I haven't felt in a long while.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lov this book so much. I recomend it to everyone I know. I they were looking for a book with action, drama, and romance I recomend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not to spoil it but DC thats all im saying
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elvis impersonaters...! ;)