31 Oct Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery
by Peter Abrahams
Soccer star, budding actress and Sherlock Holmes lover, Ingrid Levin-Hill, is back in this second installment of the Echo Falls Mystery series. Nothing in Echo Falls seems right to eighth grade student, Ingrid. Her brother, Ty, the only Freshman on the varsity football team has become moody and noticeably stronger as he lifts weights for football conditioning. Her dad’s job seems to be in jeopardy because a new woman has been hired to work at the Ferrand Group where her dad works. The woman is blonde, beautiful, but very ruthless. Is she going to replace her dad? Her dad has become withdrawn and stops talking to Ingrid. To further complicate things, this woman is also the new assistant soccer coach and that isn’t a good thing, as far as Ingrid is concerned.
Grampy has problems, too. He is being pressured by the Ferrand Group to sell his farm that is sitting on prime city property. It might help her father keep his job if he can convince his father-in-law to sell his property, but Grampy doesn’t want to sell. When Ingrid finds a pill bottle in the old treehouse where she and Ty used to play, she becomes very worried about her brother. Is he on drugs? Because her parents are too preoccupied with their own troubles, they don’t notice the changes in Ty. As Ingrid is riding her bike to MathFest early one morning, she is kidnapped and put in the trunk of a car. When she manages to escape and tell the police, no one believes her.
What is going on with Ty? Why would someone want to kidnap Ingrid? Why is Grampy’s property so valuable and will her dad lose his job? Something is going on in the town of Echo Falls and, like her hero, Sherlock Holmes, Ingrid resolves to find the answers.
This second book in the series is as enjoyable as the first one. The title refers to The Wizard of Oz, the play that Ingrid is starring in at the neighborhood theater. Ingrid is also developing a relationship with Joey, the son of the police chief and she isn’t sure how she feels about this development.
Ingrid is a typical middle school girl who is smart, resourceful and will do anything for her family. Readers who enjoy fast-paced mysteries and books with a strong female heroine will love this series.
Good read for grades 6-up.
Review By: Jan Bridges