Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Curtains! A High School Musical Mystery by Michael Dahl

Author Michael Dahl loves mysteries and has written the fantastic Finnegan Zwake series of middle school mysteries. Curtains! is easier to read, but still includes many clever clues and tricky red herrings, and keeps you guessing up to the end. The mystery takes place at a high school during practices for the musical. First a heavy stage light falls to the ground, almost hitting and killing the director. Next a wall falls on one of the student actors, and then another actor's costumes are destroyed. Clearly someone wants to ruin the show.  The culprit could be one of many people, and Kyle and Mindy systematically go through the suspect list and look for motives and opportunities. Published by Stone Arch Books, the target market for this title is reluctant readers. However, it would be a shame for this book not to be in the hands of a wider audience of mystery readers. It would be a good choice for elementary or middle school students who like traditional mysteries and it would be a great vehicle for a teacher wanting to teach kids the elements of a mystery. It's also a fun introduction to "The Queen of Crime," Agatha Christie. Keep writing mysteries for middle schoolers, Michael!

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