Vanishing Acts

( 3 )

Overview

First Day of 7th Grade—To Do:

  • Find locker
  • Soccer tryouts, 3 p.m.
  • Solve murder case

It's the middle of the night. Junior high starts tomorrow. Madison Kincaid jolts awake to the sound of a phone call from the jailhouse. It's a new case for her father, a renowned defense attorney: Someone's been accused of murdering Madison's second-grade ...

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Vanishing Acts (Madison Kincaid Series #1)

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Overview

First Day of 7th Grade—To Do:

  • Find locker
  • Soccer tryouts, 3 p.m.
  • Solve murder case

It's the middle of the night. Junior high starts tomorrow. Madison Kincaid jolts awake to the sound of a phone call from the jailhouse. It's a new case for her father, a renowned defense attorney: Someone's been accused of murdering Madison's second-grade teacher. But no body has turned up. Bent on becoming a lawyer just like her dad, Madison's determined to help him crack the case.

At school the next day, Madison finds she's got not one but two mysteries on her plate. Her best friend, Ann, is nowhere to be found. With the help of Jake Stephenson, a fellow soccer player at Pettygrove Junior High, Madison hits the sidewalks of Portland, Oregon, ready to find out just what's hiding behind these two vanishing acts.

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Best-selling adult author Margolin teams up with his daughter in this youth debut that pulls a few Nancy Drew parallels into a wholly contemporary story. A budding romance and vivid court scenes give readers more reasons to hope for future installments of Madison’s adventures.”
Kirkus Reviews

Cardboard characters and an unbelievable plot make this contemporary mystery feel like a Nancy Drew knock-off minus the nostalgic charm.

Presumably veteran suspense author Margolin contributed the fast-moving action while his daughter Ami added the local color of the Portland, Ore., setting. Unfortunately, their efforts just don't jell into a cohesive tale. Distraught by the unexplained absence of her best friend at the start of seventh grade, soccer fanatic Madison Kincaid tackles two very different disappearances with the help of a new (boy) friend. The second investigation centers on a missing woman whose husband is being represented by Madison's defense-attorney dad. That only Madison would notice a particular observer in the courtroom (one who just happens to resemble the missing woman, who just happens to be Madison's second-grade teacher) seems unlikely in the extreme. That Madison would enter the home of an accused murderer is both improbable and frighteningly foolhardy. Superficially drawn characters do little to strengthen the formulaic plot's appeal. Madison, an excellent athlete and student, yearns for her distant, workaholic father's attention. His elderly receptionist Peggy is Madison's comforting confidante. Jake, the new friend, has no personality at all, while Ann, the other "missing" person, described as friendly and easygoing, seems to exist mainly as a foil for Madison and as a problem for her to solve.

Disappointingly dull.(Mystery. 9-12)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061885587
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 169
  • Sales rank: 368,545
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Margolin

Phillip Margolin has written seventeen New York Times bestsellers, including his latest, Sleight of Hand, and the Washington Trilogy. Each displays a unique, compelling insider’s view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

Phillip Margolin has written more than a dozen New York Times bestselling mysteries for adults, including Gone, But Not Forgotten; Executive Privilege; and Wild Justice. With Vanishing Acts, he is achieving two new firsts—his first book for young readers and his first book with his daughter, Ami Margolin Rome.

Ami Margolin Rome works in education philanthropy and is a former Peace Corps volunteer. Like Madison, Ami grew up in Portland, Oregon, with a criminal defense attorney for a father. She still lives in Portland today, near her father.

Good To Know

From 1965 to 1967, Margolin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa.

In our interview, Margolin tells us more about himself: "I have a terrific marriage -- 34 years and going strong -- two terrific children who make me proud, and I am the president of Chess for Success, a nonprofit that uses chess to build self-esteem and to trick elementary and middle school children into learning study skills that will help them do well in school. We are currently in 35 Title I elementary schools and six middle schools."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Phillip M. Margolin
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Government, American University, 1965; New York University School of Law, 1970

Customer Reviews

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