Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery

The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery

Spring 2011 Fiction
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Author: Angie Frazier
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-20862-8
Hardcover Price: $16.99

For Suzanna’s parents, managers of the fancy summer hotel the Rosemount, no job could be more worthwhile than catering to hordes of elite and spoiled summer guests every year. Suzanna (Zanna to all her friends and family) thinks otherwise. She’d rather follow in the footsteps of her famous uncle, Detective Bruce Snow, and become a sleuth. Zanna carries her detective notebook everywhere she goes, taking careful notes of everything she sees. So when bratty little Maddie Cook disappears during a thunderstorm, Zanna finds she already has more clues to solve the mystery than anyone realizes. Finding that nobody takes her observations seriously, Zanna must decide whether to stay out of trouble, or to continue trying to save Maddie from her kidnapper—and her friend Isaac from a false accusation.

This period mystery has all the familiar elements of historical fiction set during the turn of the twentieth century: a spunky girl protagonist who defies gender norms, an aspiring lower-class male friend, and an assortment of snobbish and silly elites. Zanna’s own personal struggles against gender and class strictures are interspersed with the unfolding of the mystery. Both plot lines are engaging, and the end provides a satisfying comeuppance for Zanna’s pompous famous uncle and for some of the more obnoxious hotel guests. Young fans of period mysteries will enjoy this new addition to the genre.

Naomi Lesley   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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