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The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie

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Bindy Mackenzie believes herself to be the smartest, kindest girl at Ashbury High. Unfortunately, she is alone in that belief.

To prove her likeability, Bindy decides to document her life in transcripts, essays, and e-mails. What this reveals is a girl who's funny, passionate, hilariously self-righteous...and in danger.

Someone wants to kill Bindy Mackenzie. The clues are in the documents. The detectives are ...

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Bindy Mackenzie believes herself to be the smartest, kindest girl at Ashbury High. Unfortunately, she is alone in that belief.

To prove her likeability, Bindy decides to document her life in transcripts, essays, and e-mails. What this reveals is a girl who's funny, passionate, hilariously self-righteous...and in danger.

Someone wants to kill Bindy Mackenzie. The clues are in the documents. The detectives are the very students who hate her most. And time is running out.

Enjoy this wickedly funny follow-up to The Year of Secret Assignments. It's a killer!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
In most high schools, good candidates for murder are not hard to come by; so why single out practically perfect Bindy Mackenzie? This teen novel, told entirely in emails and other documents, unfolds a mystery that involves far more than homicidal intentions.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Stellar student Bindy Mackenzie is determined to make year 11 the best ever. It will secure her place for the future and she will continue on to scholastic stardom. When school starts, Bindy hits a snag. Rather than the highly anticipated free period for studying, she must now attend a weekly FAD (Friendship and Development) group meeting at her Australian high school. The teacher attempts to draw Bindy into the group, but bad feelings between Bindy and the more popular kids intercede. As Bindy feels more alienated and attacked by the group, her behavior becomes irrational and erratic. When she finally breaks down, the group begins to suspect that Bindy's behavior may be attributed to something more sinister than just a mental breakdown. Could she be ingesting poison? Jacklyn Moriarty presents Bindy's story (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2006) through diary entries, school assignments, emails, and more. Susan Lyons does a stellar job narrating Bindy's descent into madness. When Bindy is no longer able to tell her own story, Anushka Carter Paris takes over the narration, bringing a very different vibe to the production. On some occasions, the style of the written text is not apparent in audio format. Both narrators give a wonderful performance, enhancing a clever book. Although this title can stand alone, it is recommended for purchase by libraries circulating the previous two titles.—Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT
Publishers Weekly
Sure, she has ticked off the entire high school, but could someone actually be out to kill the heroine in The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie? by Jaclyn Moriarty, the companion book to Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments. Bindy's journal entries and e-mail exchanges quicken the narrative pace. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Kimberly Paone
Bindy Mackenzie is a brilliant, Australian high school student-maybe too smart for her own good. As the top student in her class, Bindy is already intimidating, but her annoying know-it-all attitude only helps to distance her from fellow students at Ashbury High. This situation is further complicated by a new required class, Friendship and Development ("FAD"), where Bindy is forced to interact with a group of peers and build relationships with people whom she knows are not fond of her. What Bindy's classmates do not realize is that she has greater problems with which to contend: Her parents have moved to the city and have left Bindy to live with her aunt and uncle. She feels constant pressure to stay on top of her studies, and lately she has been feeling extremely ill. As Bindy and her FAD group begin coming to terms with each other, the mystery of what is really going on with Bindy starts to unravel. Could it be that someone would really want to kill Bindy Mackenzie? Could someone really be poisoning her? Fans of Moriarty's The Year of Secret Assignments (Scholastic, 2004/VOYA June 2004) will be curious to revisit the lives of some of the characters whom they enjoyed in this companion novel. Unfortunately Bindy is not a very likeable character, and readers may tire of her long before they reach the final portion of this quite lengthy book where the mystery of Bindy's life and possible murder is revealed and cleverly solved.
Children's Literature - Naomi Williamson
Bindy Mackenzie is in year 11 at Ashbury High in Sydney, Australia. Told through e-mails, letters, lists, transcripts of conversations, and her written musings, the story of Bindy and her classmates unfolds. A new class, Friendship and Development, or FAD, has been added to the curriculum and Bindy is not happy that study time will now be devoted to this obviously worthless class. Bindy is short on social skills and she doesn't seem to understand why her classmates don't want her to tell them how to improve their lives. As the school year progress Bindy seems to fade into nothingness—she doesn't study, misses classes, stops practicing the piano, and seems to be ill a lot. Though it gets off to a slow start the story does pick up and will eventually draw the reader into the discovery of just why Bindy's life is out of control. This is a story of friendships developing among the most unlikely students. While Bindy's family is somewhat dysfunctional, she has the support of her aunt and uncle during this difficult time, as well as some other adults who are on the fringes of her life. The puzzle of who would try to kill Bindy and why adds some intrigue to the collective plot. With Bindy's amazing intellect, imagination, and curiosity it is quite a challenge for the reader to unravel the mystery. This is a cleverly written story with many factors that may be true to life for many pre-teens and teens. The length may be somewhat daunting for the average reader, but once into the story they will stay with it as someone goes in for the kill.
Like The Year of Secret Assignments, Moriarty's previous story set in Ashbury High School, near Sydney, Australia, this is inventive, lengthy, and highly entertaining. It is told in a series of letters, journal entries, and e-mail messages. Bindy, the narrator, obsessively writes everything she thinks and witnesses on her ever-present laptop computer, which is how the story is propelled. What is ingenious is how it is revealed that Bindy's judgment is frequently faulty and her observations are inaccurate, because she is seeing everything through her idiosyncratic understanding of herself and others. It's daring for an author to give us a misfit, an unpopular adolescent, as the main character because many YAs just don't want to read about such a person. However, if readers can stay with Bindy long enough to get engrossed in her strange story, they will thoroughly enjoy the twists and turns of the amazing plot. For fans of The Year of Secret Assignments, there are hints at the events from that book scattered around in this one. In the end, it is the intelligent YA reader who loves mysteries and puzzles who will thoroughly enjoy this story. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2006, Scholastic, Arthur A. Levine Books, 494p., $16.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
Karolinde Young
Bindy MacKenzie can do no wrong. She is in the top of her class, notices everything around her, and offers self-help sessions for her fellow students. Bindy is the last person who needs a friendship and development class. Her fellow classmates take on the personality of vicious animals, and her too American teacher is too much to deal with. Life couldn't be worse, until it gets worse. The mystery behind two teachers' arguments, the enigmatic and cute Finnegan Blonde, and her own family's hidden secrets unfold as Bindy tells her story through memos, ponderings, letters, and her ever present electronic journal. More mysterious are the changes within Bindy herself. Is she being poisoned? Or is she just losing her mind? Moriarty spins a fascinating story of an overachiever forced to deal with her own limitations, at the same time presenting an intriguing mystery. Not until the end are all of the mysteries revealed. An excellent book for upper middle school and high school.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Through her diary, memos, letters, e-mails, etc., readers get to know this humorously unlikable, holier-than-thou perfectionist. The twist is that Bindy is being slowly murdered! It's easy to miss that detail, though, as the story focuses on her growth away from over-judging others, specifically her seven fellow Year 11 students in her "Friendship and Development" course at their Australian private school. Forgetting the murder thing-which Moriarty mostly does for 450 pages of this tome-this is an enjoyable, well-paced read with an emotional delicacy weaving through the light humor of Bindy's egocentricity. After Bindy's growth, however, the author postpones the denouement to tie the remaining loose threads up in an action-packed murder-mystery ending, utterly changing the book's tone. Moriarty's fans will miss the fully fleshed-out supporting characters of her earlier novels, but Bindy is a perversely engaging protagonist.
—Rhona CampbellCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Told in emails, transcripts, memos and other musings, Bindy records the eventful start of Year 11 at Ashbury, an Australian private school Moriarty has portrayed in her previous work. Bindy is an overachiever who thinks her classmates, teachers and even the School Board are desperately in need of her input. The FAD ("Friendship and Development") group, a new class taught by Try Montaine, really needs her help. Bindy's hair, worn in two long braids rolled on the sides of her head, becomes symbolic of her rigid, uncool, uptight existence. The murder of Bindy seems impossible, as she is the main character, and Bindy is unaware of her ability to cause enmity with that level of vitriol, being more comfy with just being irritating. Yet upon becoming aware of her own failings, she's equally committed to atoning completely. Bindy's unreliable narration provides most of the humor and suspense, hitting all the typical buttons Moriarty fans have come to expect, including a strange family life and an over-the-top d‚nouement. As memorably unique as Bindy herself. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781449841263
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/9/2011
  • Format: CD

Meet the Author

Jaclyn Moriarty grew up in Sydney, Australia, with 4 sisters, 1 brother, 2 dogs, and 12 chickens. She studied law at the University of Sydney, Yale, and Cambridge, and worked as an entertainment lawyer before she wrote the Ashbury High novels, including THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS, THE MURDER OF BINDY MACKENZIE, and THE GHOSTS OF ASHBURY HIGH. She still lives in Sydney, with her little boy, Charlie.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:


    I really enjoyed this book. It is written in a very unusual format, made completely out of letters, transcripts, e-mails ect. I thought about giving it up in the beg. because it was kind of boring but I swear to you it does pick up. I would recomend it. It's about this girl Bindy's FAD group(Friends and Development) and a secret plot to put an end to Bindy once and for all. Or is it? It definitly keeps you guessing till the end and I really liked it. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Iffy on this one

    I liked it overall, it was just waaaaayyy too long. Plus, I didn't really like Bindy half the time. If you've read her other books, I would say give this one a try too. :)

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  • Posted November 1, 2011

    A good book that will make you gasp and laugh at the same time

    Bindy Mackenzie is the smartest girl in Year 11 and because of that and her over confidence level she doesn't that many friends and explains why someone would want to kill Bindy. As she becomes involve with her school group FAD (Friendship and Development) she slowly loses her high grades and her health but at the same time gains some new friends who believe that Bindy is getting poisoined and now everyones asking the same question, "Who's Bindy's Murderer?" Moriarty gives great detail on all of the characters, vivid description but sometimes elaborated for way to long but the wait is worth it. I would recommend this book for the patient hearted people who love a mysterious suspense story. This is my first Jaclyn Moriarty book and now I want to read more of her books :D

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    this book is made of awesome

    This book was great. The things that really made me like this novel as much as I did was Bindy herself. I mean, come on. Have you ever seen anyone like Bindy in a book before? ... Okay, maybe you have, but that's not the point, you know what I mean. Plus, i liked, just, the plot and everything, and how ms. moriarty can blend it all together. so anyways, this book is made of awesome.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie Review.

    I just finished reading Jaclyn Moriarty's book, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie. The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is a Teen Fiction, Mystery novel. The main character of the novel is Bindy Mackenzie. She is an Australian girl, who attends Ashbury High School in Sydney, Australia. Bindy Mackenzie is a junior in high school. She is ranked number one in the junior class at Ashbury. Jaclyn Moriarty introduces Bindy Mackenzie through a series of diary entries, transcripts, and reports that she makes up that Bindy Mackenzie has written. Bindy Mackenzie is a unique type of girl. She has her hair in these funky kinds of hair styles, and yet is super smart. You may think she is weird and does not really belong, but really she is the same person that you are. The story of Bindy Mackenzie mainly takes place at Ashbury High School or in Bindys room at her Aunt Valerie's and Uncle Jacks house. You never really know where the setting is unless you read it one of the many diary entries or the transcripts, but everything in on Bindy Mackenzie's laptop.
    The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie has a lot of twist and turns in the story. Bindy is this academic girl who works hard for her grades and always gets in the 99.9 percentile in every single class she has. She has the most perfect life someone like Bindy could have then all of a sudden when she in enrolled in this class call Friendship and Development (aka FAD) everything goes downhill. She has these hallucinogens, starts getting sick, missing school, and not turning her homework. No one knows what is wrong with Bindy Mackenzie, not even herself.
    Jaclyn Moriarty used lots of diary entries and transcripts to tell this story. She also used some foreshadowing to tell about some of the events that happen in the middle of the book and that reappear in the end of the book. In the book, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, Jaclyn Moriarty uses some Suspense to keep us in the book, about how Bindy Mackenzie ends up listening to something that she should not have heard of. Jaclyn Moriarty also uses Figurative Language throughout the book. She has Bindy Mackenzie use words that are not fitting in to her age and more of the age of an adult.
    The point of view of the Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is in first person. I think that this point of view is important. If it were to be in a different point of view it would be totally different story and not make much sense. The story relies on Bindy Mackenzie to tell the story. There is one point in the story were that changes because Bindy Mackenzie has a very big issue that occurs.
    I recommend this book to anyone who has read any of Jaclyn Moriarty's books and enjoys them; I know I enjoy her books. Also, if you read teen fiction or even like a little mystery about teenagers you should try this book and I think you will enjoy it. I give this book thumbs up. I enjoyed reading it, keep me wanting to keep reading it and I never wanted to put it down.

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  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by The Compulsive Reader for

    Bindy Mackenzie--student extraordinaire and perfectionist--is the heroine in this follow-up novel to Moriarty's FEELING SORRY FOR CELIA and THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS. <BR/><BR/>Bindy is thrown when she is placed in FAD--Friendship and Development class. It doesn't make any sense! Who would rip away her study period so thoughtlessly? And what could she possibly learn from the other students in her class? <BR/><BR/>But could Bindy actually be so perfect that someone wants to kill her? And if so, the only people who can figure out who the perp is in time are the classmates that Bindy underestimated and alienated. <BR/><BR/>Laugh-out-loud funny, Moriarty doesn't disappoint. Full of her trademark intricate plot twists, quick wit, and told entirely in transcripts, journal entries, and letters, this novel gives a perfectly honest portrayal of teen life that is appropriate for even younger readers. Bindy Mackenzie will keep you guessing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2008

    Good Book

    This book was good, its about this girl, Bindy Mackenzie, and her friendship and development (FAD) class. its all about that class and an evil plot that involoves people who should be innocent people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    This book is Wonderful for Teens!

    When I read this book in 2007 I couldn't keep my eyes off of it. I read it until my sister screamed and told me to turn off the light and if I got up early I would read until breakfast. This book had suspense,danger,love,trust, and downright wonderful moments. I love the little times when the kids wrote anonymous notes to eachother. I knew who was trying to murder Bindy several chapters before the end. I loved it! The end suprised me even though! LOVED IT!I recommend it deeply.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is the WORST book i have EVER read. I know that sounds harsh, but it is true. The whole book you read about her life, second by horrible second. Which you know, that doesn't sound that bad, but her life is, frankly, boring! I did not enjoy this book AT ALL! I would not reccomend it to anybody, it's a waste of money, in my opinion. I regret buying it completely!!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008


    This book is amazing! Dont let the reletivly slow start fool you, if you keep reading you will be pleasantly surprised!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Murder shouldn't be this fun. . .

    Bindy Mackenzie does NOT understand how she was placed into the FAD (Friendship and Development) class that she was. When Ashbury High School in Sydney, Australia goes to a new curriculum designed to help students with their interpersonal lives, Bindy protests¿and loudly. It just isn¿t academic, and she loathes her other seven classmates. Source documents from the life of Bindy Mackenzie paint the picture of a student who is annoyingly perfect and particularly judgmental of her cohorts. This is ultimately a mystery, but provides a self-portrait of personal growth and awareness that is actually fun to read. One of the greatest lessons of the book is that there can be more than one way to interpret the behavior of the people who surround us. This would be a great book for discussing interpersonal relations as well as psychological concepts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2007

    Attention All Readers!!!! READ THIS BOOK!!!!

    OMG!!!! This book was SOOOOOOOOOOO good. All teenagers who love a great mystery and a high school life will love tbis book. Yall have no idea how great it is until you read it. Seriously, it's worth it because you never expect most of the things that happen in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007


    The first 3/4 or so of the book go pretty slow but the very end is SO good and exciting. When you finish it you realize why it is so long: EVERY detail is important to the plot!! i DEFINITELY recommend this book!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2007


    This book is the greatest!! It should totally be made into a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2007

    LOVED it!

    I loved this book! Its now one of my favs. Its a story about a girl Bindy Mackenzie her life, family, and school, told through letters and dairys. It really is a lovely book. If you love teen fic CHECK OUT THIS BOOK. Trust me. I'm not one to go on and rave about a book like this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2007

    It was slow

    This was a good book, the plot was well thought out and very complex. It was witty and i liked the main character... she did develop and grow as a person throughout the book. However, isn't there always one of those, I did think the book was too long for the mystery. I really didn't get enthralled in it until the last 150 pages or so. If the author would have made you a little more aware of what was happening it would've been an easier read. I do have this to say... If you have already read half of this book and gave up pick it up again and finish it! The end makes up for all the boring stuff and plus the las page makes you feel warm and fuzzy...haha.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2006

    good book

    this was a very good book with an interesting ending. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2007


    I found this book very boring, and not just because of the length. Halfway through I put it down, and still have not picked it back up. I am dreading finishing this book. I would not recomend this book to anyone interested in being excited. This book is the slowest read ever. Not an exciting book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2006

    Page Turner.

    This book is amazing. Really, I couldn't stop reading. The only girl from the pervious books who is [really, really] in it is Emily, but it's still really good. Worth reading, I think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2006


    this book was okay but it wasnt what i thought it would had a really good ending though,it will totally take u by surprise!

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