________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 8 . . . .December 8, 2006


Not a Trace. (A Chloe and Levesque Mystery).

Norah McClintock.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2005.
236 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-95760-5.

Subject Headings:
Indians of North America-Land tenure-Juvenile fiction.
Murder-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4



I was on my way out of the classroom when David Mitchell stepped in front of me. He was taller up close than he had appeared from halfway back in the classroom. He looked strong and well muscled too, and held himself with the confidence of a guy who wasn’t afraid of anything. He said, “Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Gerry said I’d be able to count on you.” I wondered what else Gerry Lawry, my history teacher, had said about me to David Mitchell.

“No problem,” I said. When he moved aside to let me pass, I hesitated. A lot of what he had said made sense, but there was one thing that bothered me.

“Can I ask you something?” I said.


“When you say that native people have to be ready to defend their rights by any means necessary, you don’t really mean that, do you? I mean, protests, sure. Even a little civil disobedience.” His eyes flashed. Okay, so maybe I should have said a lot of civil disobedience. “But you wouldn’t actually use any means, would you? For example, you wouldn’t kill anyone. Would you?”

He didn’t say anything. Instead he looked at me and I looked straight back, and the longer I looked, the more I thought I saw the answer.


Not a Trace is part of Norah McClintock’s “Chloe and Levesque Mystery” series. The story begins with David Mitchell’s visit to Chloe’s history class to share his thoughts about his own culture and the plans to turn a park into a golf resort. After a series of misfortunate accidents involving Chloe, Chloe and Adam happen upon the body of Trevor Blake. When everyone seems determined to blame David Mitchell, Chloe isn’t as convinced. It is her quiet determination that breaks the case wide open.

      McClintock has created a story of intrigue and mystery and interwoven it with a series of smaller stories. There is the subplot of Chloe and her mom and stepdad’s relationship; Amanda Blake, Jessie and Jessie’s uncle; the new kid in town Adam, as well as many others. These mini-stories make the conflict more believable and the characters seem real. Via McClintock’s descriptions, the reader is drawn deeper into the world she has created.

      A great read. The question that begs to be asked is simply, “When is the next book?”

Highly Recommended.

Review by Christina Pike is the Principal of St. Francis School in Harbour Grace, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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