Spending her summer helping Grandma Kay run the Schoenhaus, a Victorian bed and breakfast, seventeen-year-old Jen soon finds that her Grandma’s plans also include solving an old mystery: the disappearance of Jen’s mother.
Jen’s mother Ellen disappeared without a trace when her daughter was still young. Even so, Jen received holiday gifts in the mail and letters signed by her mother for years. But then the communication abruptly stopped. Now Grandma Kay is convinced the letters were forged and that her daughter-in-law was murdered.
The stage is set for an elaborate Mystery Weekend at the inn. Family members and friends—including Jen’s very recent ex-boyfriend, her old childhood crush and his insufferable girlfriend—assemble and are assigned roles to play. But as the drama unfolds, Jen makes an important off-stage discovery in the Schoenhaus library. Soon her worst suspicions are aroused: Could a member of her own close-knit family be responsible for her mother’s disappearance?
Kristin Wolden Nitz has penned a story that artfully combines all the necessary elements of a great mystery, sweeping readers along Jen’s path to discovery.
“Nitz intertwines and then untangles relationships…weaving a credible mystery for a wide adolescent audience. With clues and red herrings scattered throughout, the book scores as a darned good little mystery. Intriguing, suspenseful fun.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Mystery fans will root for Jen and speculate away as they try to figure out what really happened.” ―Booklist
“Nitz is a fine writer and weaver of interesting plots, a sure sign of success for the YA crowd looking for drama and suspense.” ―Grand Rapids Press
“The story is sharp and lean; the writing is tight and focused…. a quick and easy read that will satisfy lovers of mystery and suspense.” ―New York Journal of Books
Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Best Book, Language Arts 7-12 Novels) ―Society of School Librarians International, 2011
Best Fiction for Young Adults ―YALSA, 2011
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (High School) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2011
Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2011
KSRA Young Adult Book Award (Nominee) ―Keystone State Reading Association, 2011
AR Level: 4.4
F&P: GRL W, Gr 6, Genre RF
Themes: Family, Mystery, Performance, Secrets
BISAC 1: YAF042000 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
BISAC 2: YAF047050 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Performing Arts / Theater & Musicals
BISAC 3: YAF058110 YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings