Posts Tagged 'detective'

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Genre: Mystery

Number of Pages: 420

Ellingham Academy was founded in the 1930s by Albert Ellingham who wanted to created a school for talented young people. It was made famous in 1936 when Ellingham’s wife and daughter were kidnapped and ransomed. After Ellingham paid the ransom, however, they still were not returned. The whereabouts in particular of little Alice Ellingham has been a mystery ever since. In present day, Stevie Bell has been admitted to Ellingham Academy and she cannot wait to try to solve this decades old case. She wants to be a detective when she grows up and she feels she has learned enough about the case and sleuthing techniques to be able to solve this case once she is able to get onto campus. Shortly, after the school year begins, a fellow student is found dead in a recently unearthed tunnel. Was it an accident or was it murder? Stevie begins to grow convinced that the present day mystery is connected to the 1936 mystery and is determined to prove it. If there is a murderer on campus, though, will she be next?

This is the first in a three part mystery series and each one provides clues and shocking twists to the eventual reveal of both the 1936 mystery and the present day events. The cast of characters that Stevie meets at Ellingham Academy are interesting and colorful, but most importantly they are all supportive of each other’s interests and strengths. The story flips between Stevie in the present tense and then events and news clippings from the 1930s to help the reader piece together the mystery at the same time as Stevie. Fans of mystery stories will enjoy this series because since it take place over three books and therefore has the ability to truly develop at a natural pace while also fleshing out the unique culture of Ellingham Academy.

Dead Connection by Alafair Burke

Genre:  Mystery

Age Level:  15 and up

# of Pages:  319 p.

RAC:  Yes

Ellie Hatcher is a detective in the NYPD who has been a media favorite in the past due to her police officer father’s untimely death when she was a child.  Now she has been unexpectedly called up to help in a murder investigation that the lead detective believes might be involved with an online dating company called First Date.  Two female members of First Date have been murdered and they believe that maybe someone is stalking women he meets on this service.  The CEO of First Date refuses to cooperate with any valid names and IDs unless they have more information than just a hunch, which leaves them without a way of finding any information on any of the men these women were in contact with.

This exciting mystery has many twists and turns in it and keeps readers guessing all the way up until the end.  The mystery itself gets more complicated before anything starts to get resolved, which might frustrate some readers, but the last third of the book is very exciting and action packed as the details start to fall into place.  All of the elements needed for a good mystery are present and the clues for the end result are present throughout the story.  Fans of murder mystery stories will enjoy this book.