The Midnight Tunnel
Review: During the summer of 1905 at a luxury resort along the New Brunswick coast, a young girl goes missing. The hotel managers' daughter, Suzanna Snow, only 12-years-old herself, may have been the last person to see her, and, using her carefully honed detective skills, sets out to find her in The Midnight Tunnel, the first mystery in this series for middle-school readers by Angie Frazier.
Always carry a notebook. Everyone is a suspect: friends, family, and crabby fishermen alike. Trust your intuition, especially when people tell you not to. Remain calm at all times (unless someone is chasing you). Breaking a detective rule or two is allowed in times of crisis.
Suzanna is being trained to follow in her parents' footsteps, catering to whims of the rich, who visit their seaside resort each summer, but she'd much rather be like her famous uncle, Bruce Snow, a celebrated detective in Boston. She reads about his successes in the papers, and tries to emulate him by keeping meticulous notes on the guests and what's happening at the hotel. (Guest #46: Maddie Cook. Age 7. Approx. 3' 5". Blond ringlets, blue eyes. Dominating characteristic: much too talkative.) But when guest #46 — Maddie — goes missing during a violent storm, Detective Snow is called in from Boston to investigate. Suzanna is sure she saw Maddie in the tunnel that night, the one that connects the main building to the servant's quarters, but the storm had knocked out the electricity and there were no lamps to spare when Suzanna made her way between the buildings, so it was more of a "feeling" than an actual "sighting". Still, no one will take her seriously, not even her idol, Uncle Bruce.
Mermaid statue, Mr. Johnston's money, Maddie's disappearance, Thomas Cook's row in the bay with Penelope are all connected somehow. Still working on the how.
The Midnight Tunnel is a surprisingly complex, well-developed mystery, and a strong introduction to this series. Though some readers may want the action to start a little sooner — Maddie doesn't go missing until about page 70 (of a little less than 300) — once it begins, the activity surrounding the investigation is fairly nonstop. Suzanna is an engaging character, an independent thinker, who pushes the envelope at times but is respectful of authority. The short clips that precede each chapter are entertaining in and of themselves, and offer a hint as to what follows. (Detective Rule: John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things." I say, "Detectives must be as stubborn as the facts they seek.")
Clearly intended for a reading audience of 10- to 12-year-old girls, boys may also find the storyline compelling … as would their parents. Regardless, readers of both genders and ages will most certainly be looking forward to more adventures of this remarkable young sleuth.
Acknowledgment: Scholastic provided an ARC of The Midnight Tunnel for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Mastermind Plot
Scholastic (Hardcover), March 2012
ISBN-13: 9780545208642; ISBN-10: 0545208645
Location(s) referenced in The Midnight Tunnel: New Brunswick, Canada
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The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier — A Suzanna Snow Mystery
Publication Date: March 2011
List Price: $16.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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