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Middle-school librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan prove that two heads are better than one when it comes to discussing YA and children's books

Archive for the 'Mystery' Category

Wed, July 23rd, 2014
Skink–No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: ‘”Hold my eye,” (Skink) said, and plucked the left one out of his face.’ By page 8 reluctant readers are going to be hooked by Hiassen’s latest mystery, Skink–No Surrender (Knopf 2014). Skink won’t be new to Hiaasen’s adult fans who may have encountered the hermit Vietnam vet, ex-governor of Florida in a half […]


Tue, July 15th, 2014
Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: There are times when Lynn’s and my literary tastes don’t match up, but usually when she begs me to read a book I should listen to her and respond immediately. She has been raving about The Boundless (Simon & Schuster 2014) for months, as have many other readers (it published in April so you […]


Wed, June 18th, 2014
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  The second case for the Desperado Detective Agency snuck up on Mo and Dale “dressed in the happy-go-lucky colors and excitement of an auction.”  Miss Lana goes off to the auction of the decrepit Old Tupelo Inn to buy an umbrella stand and comes home having bought the entire property – complete with its […]


Fri, May 30th, 2014
Grandmaster by David Klass
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I’m not sure why but I love books with chess as an element of the story.  Maybe it’s the rich history of the game or the idea of sharp intellects engaged in intense mental combat or maybe it’s just that I am a lousy chess player and admire those who play well.  Whatever it […]


Wed, May 28th, 2014
Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Mystery on Museum Mile (Houghton 2014) starts off with a bang.  Edmund Xavier Lonnrot is being told over a consoling pistachio ice cream cone that his parents can’t afford to send him to his much-loved private school next year when a  cry for help sends Edmund’s father racing down an alley to the rescue.  […]


Thu, May 22nd, 2014
Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits by Michael D. Beil
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  What is Michael Beil’s newest mystery all about?  A talking cat, 2 observant kids, a train, a kidnapping, jewel heist and the world’s fastest roller coaster!  So what else do I need to tell you to get you to pick up Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits (Random/Knopf 2014)? This fun mystery is […]


Thu, May 1st, 2014
Operation Bunny by Sally Gardner
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Cindy: No one hung a basket of flowers on my doorknob today, but I’m still celebrating May 1st because it ushers in Booklist’s Mystery Month festivities. If you are a mystery fan, make sure you are following the #mysterymonth hash tag and keeping an eye on the Booklist Blogs this month. We’ll be posting about […]


Fri, January 3rd, 2014
Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  I’ve a weakness for Victorian ghost stories and the 2013 publishing year offered up some super ones.  Constable & Toop (Abrams/Amulet 2013) joins my list of spooky favorites. The ghosts of London’s haunted houses are mysteriously disappearing.  Worse, once the ghosts disappear the “Black Rot,” a phantasmagorical wasting disease,” creeps in.  Investigators, both human […]


Wed, November 13th, 2013
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  With five stars from the major review journals, Midwinterblood (Roaring Brook 2013) has already had a lot of wonderful things written about it.  Cindy and I are late to the party but we have both been fans since reading this early in the summer.  I’m not sure why it has taken so long to […]


Fri, October 11th, 2013
Turn Left at the Cow by Lisa Bullard
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan

Lynn:  Here’s a title that grabbed my attention the moment I opened the box:  Turn Left at the Cow (Harcourt Oct. 2013).  Happily this middle school mystery turned out to be just as much fun as the title. 13-year-old Travis, fed up with his mom and new stepfather, runs away from Southern California to the […]





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