The Maypop Kidnapping
March 01, 2016
Quinnie's teacher has disappeared from Maiden Rock. Quinnie suspects a kidnapping, but her mom, the town sheriff, just thinks the teacher has left town. So Quinnie teams up with her glamorous new neighbor to investigate the mystery.
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Middle grade mysteries walk a fine line-- readers want gory murder mysteries, and adults want to hand them gentler books about missing dogs, ala Encyclopedia Brown. The Maypop Kidnapping struck a nice balance, with a beloved teacher going missing, the adults not believing she was in danger, and the children being right that more investigation was needed. I appreciated that the teacher wasn't in grave danger, but that Quinnie and Mariella were able to solve a mystery that did have some criminal implications.
The sense of place was very strong. Having been to Maine, it was interesting to see a depiction of a small town with very few inhabitants, and some of the scenes were set along the coast. Young readers not from the area will find this interesting. The inclusion of Mariella, who was from New York City, reinforced some of these details, since she was suprised by some facets of life in a small town.
Readers who liked Thompson's The Girl from Felony Bay, Beil's The Red Blazer Girls, or Margolis' Girl's Best Friend will enjoy this mystery that will keep them on the edge of their seat, but still allow them to sleep comfortably at night!
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