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4.0 1
by Kristin Wolden Nitz

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This well-plotted whodunit will hook readers from the start and keep them reading until the surprising solution is revealed.


This well-plotted whodunit will hook readers from the start and keep them reading until the surprising solution is revealed.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jody Little
When seventeen-year-old Jen learns that she will spend her summer helping her grandmother run the Schoenhaus, a bed-and-breakfast inn, she is not thrilled. Soon, though, Jen learns that Grandma Kay is planning one of her famous murder mystery parties, and Jen wonders if Grandma has ulterior motives. Years ago, Jen's mother disappeared. Jen received notes and gifts from her mom over the years, but in the past two years the communication has stopped. Grandma Kay believes Jen's mom was murdered and she would like to find the murderer. As the day of the mystery party gets closer, Jen realizes she is becoming attracted to her "un-cousin" Mark. She also finds some old journals of her mother's which give Jen some troubling background about her family's past, most notably some shocking information about her two uncles, Steve and Doug. On the day of the party, two guests are unable to come, and Jen and Mark are asked to play those roles. Jen has the role of the murder victim. Once her character dies, she has time to learn more about her mother's disappearance. When a journal entry leads her to answers, the whole family cannot believe that one person so close to them hid a secret for so many years. Although the characters are thin and an often lack believable emotion, the story has an old-fashioned, Agatha Christie appeal. Readers who enjoy the elements of a mystery such as character motives, disturbing clues and red herrings will enjoy the novel. Reviewer: Jody Little
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6�9—Jen's mother disappeared when Jen was a toddler but Grandma Kay is convinced that Ellen was murdered. While working at her grandmother's bed-and-breakfast for the summer, 17-year-old Jen must play a part in the annual murder mystery weekend. However, she gets more than she bargained for as she comes to the realization that the plot is alarmingly similar to her mother's disappearance. Taking on the role of Ellen and playing the victim, Jen is surrounded by people from her mother's past. Through the course of the mystery, she begins to piece together clues about what really happened. The characters are likable enough but hardly memorable. The mystery, while somewhat interesting, is wrapped up much too neatly in the last few pages and is not much of a surprise. Still, the book has wholesome characters and an innocent love story.—Jessie Spalding, Tempe Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews - Kirkus Reviews

Jen doesn't want to spend her 17th summer working at her grandmother's bed-and-breakfast inn, but her dad says she has to. She's just broken up with her boyfriend, though, and she finds herself becoming far too attracted to her "uncousin" Mark, her grandmother's step-grandson. Worse, Jen's archenemy also works at the inn, and the girl appears to be making a play for the newly fascinating Mark. The plot thickens when Grandma Kay decides to have one of her popular "mystery weekends" at the inn, but with a difference. This time Grandma Kay wants to find out what happened to Jen's mother, who disappeared years earlier. Grandma Kay suspects murder, although Jen has been receiving gifts and letters from her mother ever since she left. Jen winds up reluctantly playing the murder victim in a game that easily could turn real. Nitz intertwines and then untangles relationships among the teens and guests, weaving a credible mystery for a wide adolescent audience. With clues and red herrings neatly scattered throughout, the book scores as a darned good little mystery. Intriguing, suspenseful fun. (Mystery. 12 & up)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
HL670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
11 - 15 Years

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Suspect 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MysteriousReader More than 1 year ago
One of the best YA Mysteries I've ever read...And I've read A LOT!