May 152010

Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn has won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Juvenile Fiction

Another well-done, action-packed mystery from Hahn. This book starts off as seventh-grader Logan Forbes learns that a murder had been committed in his family’s new house three years earlier.

Myrtle Donaldson, a bookkeeper accused of embezzling from the local amusement park, was found dead in her ransacked house and her killer is still at large.

Logan’s next-door neighbor, Arthur Jenkins, a sixth grader with a bottomless stomach and a quirky personality, is convinced that Mrs. Donaldson was falsely accused, and he wants Logan to help him find the real perpetrator. The boys discover a letter and puzzle left among the woman’s possessions that convinces them they are on the right track. Their investigation includes visiting the abandoned and overgrown Magic Forest amusement park, a reporter with secrets, shady property developers, a menacing convict, and purloined library materials.

It all culminates in a terrifying nighttime showdown among the kudzu at the Magic Forest where the truth is revealed. This is an enjoyable mystery with just the right amount of frightening and dangerous elements to entice readers. Logan is a sympathetic character—a new kid in town trying to find his place in the pecking order, almost immediately befriended by someone on the lowest rung who turns out the be the right friend for him.

It is available at Amazon for $10.88 reduced from $16.00.