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Friday, April 15, 2011

Zanna Snow Solves Her First Case!

The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier (Book 1 Suzanna Snow Mysteries)

I picked up this book because I'm always on the lookout for great mysteries for young readers, which (to me) are hard to find. While perusing other reviews of this book, I notice they make the obvious comparisons to Nancy Drew. The 11-year-old detective, in what I hope is the first of many books in this series, is better than Nancy Drew. I would actually compare this series to the Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer. Nancy Drew is good reading, but her character has no "oomph."

This fantastic new series, featuring 11-year-old Suzanna "Zanna" Snow, is set at the turn of the 20th century in the coastal town of Loch Harbor, New Brunswick. She toils day in and day out at the Rosemount, an exclusive summer hotel managed by her parents. As much as she longs to be a detective like her famous Uncle Bruce Snow, she is being groomed as her parents' replacement someday. But serving tea and waiting on other people are not what Zanna sees for her future.

You can't help but like Zanna from the start. She has a strong sense of who she is and what she wants to be. Like a meticulous detective, she keeps a notebook handy to jot down anything of interest, from the goings and comings of the hotel guests to the rules a detective should live by.

When a young girl, a guest at the hotel, goes missing, Zanna becomes the only witness. No one will take her seriously though, because she is young. I know children can be imaginative, but why do adults seem to think that what children see and say can't be taken seriously? Most books I've read immediately dismiss them. Now of course, it's up to Zanna and her friends Lucy and Isaac to solve the mystery. When her Uncle Bruce is called in to help, Zanna is delighted. However, upon meeting her uncle, she finds her expectations of him were too high. Zanna's great deductive reasoning would give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. Read the book to find out.

Angie Frazier has done a great job of creating a cast of characters and an atmosphere that can grow with the series. This is her first novel for young readers. Her previous book Everlasting is for young adults.


Ages 9-12
Publisher: Scholastic Press (March 1, 2011)
ISBN: 9780545208628
Not available as an eBook at this time.

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