CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 3. . . . October 4, 2002
Move over, Nancy Drew! Stevie Diamond and Jesse Kulniki are on the case!
When Stevie (short for Stephanie) lands a role as an extra in a local movie, she can't believe her good luck - even if it does mean dressing in a weird costume and wearing blue make-up. But once on the set, Stevie becomes aware of many suspicious accidents - too many to be mere coincidence. She and her partner Jesse decide to investigate, and that's when the fun and excitement begin!
Linda Bailey writes with style, clarity and gusto, giving readers moments of suspense along with great comedy. Her voice sounds convincingly like her main 13-year-old character. Both Stevie and Jesse are bright and determined in their roles as detectives, but remain kids at the same time, dealing with parents and Stevie's indomitable Gran.
There are plenty of clues for amateur sleuths to think about as they read, as well as a host of suspicious characters. Thus, it is no surprise that other books in the Stevie Diamond series have won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and have been shortlisted for the Silver Birch and Red Cedar Awards. A series such as this encourages young readers to "keep coming back for more" as they become familiar with and involved with the characters of the novels.
I admit it - I love a good mystery. While remaining easy reading and approachable for younger students, this whodunit has all the prerequisites of the greats of its genre: believable clues, interesting suspects, physical danger, a chase scene and......of course......a cemetery at night!
Ann Abel, a former teacher of high school English and French, is currently a teacher-librarian at Peterborough Collegiate in Peterborough, ON.
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