New Mysteries

The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When the doorbell rings one day at the Sexton household, thirteen year old Lucy answers it herself, grumbling that her household servants never do much around the house. Standing on the doorstep is her mother, dirty, disheveled, and looking wholly not herself. But the woman is not her mother.

It seems that Lucy’s mother has a twin sister who, after being separated from both her parents and her sibling at birth, was sent to an orphanage and then a workhouse. Her whole life, Helen Smythe never knew she was meant to be a society woman, living in rich luxury and with an identical twin sister.

Aunt Helen is quickly adopted into the Sexton household, and lessons begin to change her into the woman she was meant to be. Despite her lack of any formal education, Helen learns very quickly and soon is deemed ready to be presented to Society by Lucy’s parents.

After Aunt Helen’s arrival into Society, life begins to change very much for young Lucy. With her aunt an official member of the household, Lucy is no longer allowed to think of her as a younger sister who needs to be shown the simplest things, or a schoolmate. Still, their relationship is much more open than Lucy’s with her mother, and Lucy is pleased for her aunt’s presence in the Sexton household.

A rousing New Year’s Eve party brings Lucy further into adulthood as she receives her first kiss from the boy next door, Kit, and on New Year’s Day the budding couple goes for a cold stroll in the park. When Lucy arrives home, her house is uncharacteristically silent and she immediately knows something is wrong. Making her way from room to room calling for her parents and aunt, Lucy becomes more and more worried about the silence in the house. When she opens the door to the back parlor, all she sees at first is red.

Mother and Aunt Helen sit in straight-backed chairs, tightly bound to each other. One of their throats is cut.

Lucy’s mother raises her head and looks, terrified and confused, into her daughter’s eyes, and nothing is ever the same again.

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Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Reading Level: Grades 7+

In this futuristic post-fairies fairy tale world, companies mine fairy dust residue in the earth from long-ago magic to sell as minor first aid remedies. Henry seems to be the only citizen unwilling to use this somewhat makeshift fairy dust, as his mother was killed in an accident involving a truckload of the stuff.

Our main character Henry’s father is the Big Bad Wolf, and when Henry has one little teenage slipup (a broken window), he is sent to the St. Remus Home for Wayward Youth (aka wayward animalians & one hominid, Henry’s best friend Jack).

Through Jack’s nimble fingers, Henry comes into possession of a series of letters written to him by his incarcerated father. The letters contain secrets – important secrets that could exonerate his father and bring them back together. All Henry has to do is get in with a guy named Skinner, by competing for a job in a dust drug-fueled and vicious race; then gather proof of his father’s semi-innocence. But in working for Skinner is no walk in the park; Henry now is a runner of nixiedust, a much more powerful and dangerous version of corporately mined fairy dust.

Many well known fairy tale characters are featured in the story, such as Detective White, who has a lingering cough due to being raised by miners, and Cindy Rella, a secretary type for St. Remus’, who has a fancy pair of heels. Some are blatant, like Ms. Rella, some subtle – Detective White – and others much less obvious – Jack, for example, is a kleptomaniac who escapes from St. Remus’ via plant.

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Other books you might enjoy:
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner

Virals by Kathy Reichs

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Lockdown: Escape from Furnace Book 1 by Alexander Gordon Smith

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

Payback Time by Carl Deuker

Reading Level: Grades 7 and up

High school senior Daniel True,unkindly know as "Mitch" because of his resemblance to the Michelin Man, is upset when he is passed over for editor-in-chief of the school paper and is instead assigned his school's sports beat. Mitch's disappointment is short lived when he realizes that the coach and one of his players are involved in something shady. Mitch soon learns that digging for facts that no one wants him to have can be dangerous both for himself and someone he cares about.

Other newshound chiffhangers include:
Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein,
Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip and
Peeled by Joan Bauer

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Other books by Carl Deuker

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