"When Miss Stillford, Quinnie's beloved teacher, fails to show up for their first day of school, Quinnie is convinced that her teacher has been kidnapped. Quinnie's mom, the sheriff of the small town, does not share her daughter's concern and tells Quinnie that Miss Stillford probably went on vacation. Quinnie, along with two friends, embarks on an investigation of her own. No one is safe from suspicionMiss Stillford's former boyfriend, a mysterious man, even the sisters who live in the dilapidated convent. Also concerning is a row of abandoned houses. Since Quinnie's mom is also the town's realtor and head of the postal department, Quinnie has access to supplies like keys, as well as evidence-gathering skills and determination. In Surrisi's debut novel, she has created a strong and unique setting in the small waterfront town of Maiden Rock, Maine. A map may help readers visualize the places Quinnie visits as she finds and follows clues. Although there are moments of seemingly forced coincidence, such as Quinnie losing her phone at critical moments, young readers will probably be able to look past that flaw. The Maypop Kidnapping is a sweet mystery that manages to have suspense, bad guys, and danger but avoids gore and being too scary. This new sleuth also finds herself juggling other classic tween issues, such as friendships, struggles with parents, and making decisions. Quinnie stays true to her instincts, and the plot offers a happily resolved ending. This book is recommended for upper elementary mystery collections."VOYA
Her investigation takes her through a damp and smelly marsh, a lobster pound, and more of Maine's messiest places. She even gets help from her glamorous new neighbor, Mariella. As the girls hunt for clues around Maiden Rock, they encounter a cast of unlikely characters. And if Quinnie's hunch is right, the search may lead them right into danger . . .
This hilarious and page-turning debut is the perfect whodunit story for middle school sleuths.
Gr 5–8—This funny and engaging debut is set in contemporary Maine, as eighth grader Quinnie is just about to begin school with her class of two when her teacher goes missing. Quinnie pleads with her mother—Maiden Rock's mayor, sheriff, and only real estate agent—to search for her missing teacher, but to no avail. After days of waiting, the tiny town finally realizes that something strange is happening in Maiden Rock. Armed with a new friend and her desperate desire to find her teacher, Quinnie takes matters into her own hands. Who is the kidnapper? "Maniac psycho-killer lover" Owen Loney? Left-at-the-altar John Derby? And just what are those two nuns up to, anyway? Surrisi has created a tale that captures readers' attention within the first few pages and keeps up the pace through the last chapter. The characters are relatable, refreshingly human, and very funny. Quinnie acts just like a 13-year-old girl would; she is an adult, a child, wise, and very foolish all at the same time. Surrisi's law background lends valuable perspective and information to the mystery but is never heavy-handed. Information is always provided through Quinnie and with the right level of comprehension for a girl her age. Perfect for middle schoolers and upper elementary-aged readers, this title hits just the right note of suspense without being too scary. A minor flaw is an abundance of pop culture references, which will date the book far too quickly. Here's hoping the next installment of this planned series keeps Quinnie on her toes. VERDICT A general purchase for most libraries, and a first purchase where mysteries are in high demand.—Taylor Worley, Springfield Public Library, OR
When Ms. Stillford does not show up on the first day of school, 13-year-old Quinnie Boyd is convinced her beloved tutor has been kidnapped. Quinnie, clever and endowed with a vivid imagination, is initially unable to convince her mother, the sheriff of the small coastal village of Maiden Rock, Maine (as well as its postmistress and real estate agent; it's that small a town), to mount a search. Missing her best friend, Zoe, who is in Scotland for the year, but aided by her maybe-crush, Ben, and by the new girl, skinny-jeans-clad Mariella from New York City, Quinnie mucks through the marsh, sneaks into houses, spies on visiting tattooed rockers, and jumps to conclusions—with the best intentions but often humorous results. Much of the book's humor derives from the quirky, colorful Maiden Rockers, particularly the two elderly nuns who drive too fast, can't figure out recycling, live in the convent with hordes of cats, and have a puzzling need for bat guano. Quinnie is a memorable protagonist with an engaging voice, confused about her feelings for Ben and her anger at the mother she loves even as she barrels full tilt and against her mother's instructions into her amateur sleuthing. Surrisi's debut novel is a delightful cozy mystery, snugly mixing intrigue and humor, with an unpredictable and satisfying resolution. (Mystery. 10-14)