Monday, March 26, 2018
"Tween" Mystery from Cindy Callaghan, SYDNEY MACKENZIE KNOCKS 'EM DEAD
Take heart. Cindy Callaghan writes for "tweens" -- those wonderful preadolescent kids still full of energy and willing to accept an occasional gift from a loving parent (don't even try to figure out the teen years that lie ahead, you'll "get" them when your reader gets there). Callaghan's books involve a lot of girls, but the boys in them are by turns smart and goofy and if your reader is a boy, he'll have enough to relate to (as well as learning to relate to, yeah, Sydney Mackenzie herself). Grab a few.
I'm happy about SYDNEY MACKENZIE KNOCKS 'EM DEAD. Start of what looks like a fresh series, it features Sydney herself, arriving in despair from her California film-adoring life to the property her folks have inherited (and rapidly moved to) in small-town Delaware. It comes complete with a cemetery, and an occupation: Sydney's parents have just inherited the business of funerals and burying, as well as the "graveyard" itself, comfortably named Lay to Rest.
As Sydney struggles to remain a cool California girl (her heeled boots are not doing too well in snow though) and to figure out who the right kids are to befriend in the new school, she's hyper worried that her spooky, death-related family property will doom her social life. She might be wrong about that ...
I was glad to find a subplot, really well done, of probing a bit of local history regarding the Underground Railroad. And a curse. And a ghost.
Lucky you, to be able to give this to the kids you want to tease into adventurous reading!
There are two small but significant mistakes in the book, and Callaghan offers this advice for dealing with them: "Note from author: Try as we all might to be diligent editors, sometimes mistakes sneaks by. To prevent any spoilers, I'll like to just ask the reader to please substitute the date 1862 for 1825. The publisher is aware and if fixing this for subsequent print runs." Of course you can ink the dates in yourself, as you "pre-read" the book for your younger reader, right? Oh, one more quick note -- the paperback version just came out a few weeks ago. Again, aren't you lucky?
PS: Looking for more mystery reviews, from cozy to very dark? Browse the Kingdom Books mysteries review blog here.