Midnight Tunnel:Eleven-year-old Suzanna Snow dreams of moving to the big city and becoming a detective like her famous uncle. But for now, she must tolerate life in the seaside village of Loch Harbor, New Brunswick, helping her parents manage the ritzy hotel the Rosemount. It’s 1904, and life is full of chores for Suzanna. She must help prepare meals, serve guests their tea, fetch lobsters from the local fishermen—all with the grace of a well-mannered lady, as her mother insists. Everything changes the night of a bad storm when a young girl, the daughter of hotel guests, disappears.
A Suzanna Snow Mystery
by Angie Frazier
NY: Scholastic, 2011
ages 9 - 12
available on Amazon and at your local library
Suzanna is certain that she is the last person to have seen a glimpse of young Maddie in the tunnel between the hotel and the servants’ quarters. But no one will believe Suzanna; not her parents, and certainly not her uncle, the famous detective Bruce Snow who has come from Boston to help solve the crime. Suzanna perseveres, forming an alliance with Mr. Snow’s understudy, Will. He believes Suzanna’s intuition and observations, and they collaborate to put together the pieces of the puzzle.
While this mystery took me a little while to get into, I really enjoyed it. Young mystery lovers will enjoy the way that Suzanna works through the twists and turns of discovering who took Maddie. The characters are nicely developed, and the setting is particularly rich and full of detail. In particular, Angie Frazier has incorporated features of both historical fiction and mysteries to give readers a richer, fuller story than Nancy Drew. I found this a nice beginning to a new series.
If you enjoy mysteries set in a different period of history, I would encourage you to try The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn, by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, and others in this series. This intriguing mystery is set in ancient Japan during the time of the samurai. I've also always meant to read Ruby in the Smoke, by Philip Pullman. Set in Victorian times, this exciting book begins with the line: ""Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man." It's more complex than Midnight Tunnel, but written by one of my favorite authors (Pullman also wrote The Golden Compass, one of my all-time favorite fantasy books).
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Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.