I read these two mysteries back to back, and despite the fact that they were published around the same time, they are actually pretty different. Let's see how they handle it when forced into a face-off.
Every year, the Texas State Library chooses 20 or so books that will appeal to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade readers.
When the list is announced, Bethany and Bonnie like to go on a shopping spree at the book vendor's to make sure we can get these books in your hands.
These are the books we're most excited about having available soon at Bastrop Public Library.
Bethany gives this one two thumbs up!
First of all, HOW DARE YOU “END” A BOOK WITH SUCH A CLIFFHANGER?!!!?!
As is expected of Johnson’s mysteries, Truly Devious is three parts murder mystery, one part Agatha Christie and other allusions, and one part boarding schools. There is definitely a fun double mystery to be solved in this book.
Stevie is such a fun sleuthing partner. As you progress through the story, you see how smart she is, like a teen Sherlock Holmes.
And, last but not least, for those of you who prefer real-life stories and/or mysteries, here are those nominees. Voting ends October 13th, so get reading!
MONSTROUS BEAUTY by Elizabeth Fama
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra's help, Hester investigates her family's strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.
THE LOST WORLD by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The creator of Sherlock Holmes delivers a classic adventure fantasy in this tale of a trip by journalists, scientists, and adventurers to investigate rumors of dinosaurs on a mysterious plateau deep in a mythical South American jungle. Much fun and over-the-top adventure ensue. The author is ably supported by Glen McCready, who delivers a reading very much in the nineteenth-century style. He plays up the characters’ big personalities and celebrates the rather orotund style of the writing, which isn’t as tight as in the Holmes books.
HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves the Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were? If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
THE SCARLET LETTER by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s exploration of the dichotomy between the public and private self, internal passion and external convention, gives us the unforgettable Hester Prynne, who discovers strength in the face of ostracism and emerges as a heroine ahead of her time. As Kathryn Harrison points out in her Introduction, Hester is “the herald of the modern heroine."
EVERLAND by Wendy Spinale
Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive. London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer. Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?
THE JUST MEN OF CORDOVA by Edgar Wallace
The Four Just Men, dedicated to ridding the world of unpunished criminals and profiteers, take their campaign into the treacherous, aristocratic world of gambling, horse-racing and high finance, where blackmail, poison and murder are commonplace. Working outside the law, the Four take it upon themselves to clean things up in their own way.