The Maypop Kidnapping: 02/26/17
The Maypop Kidnapping by C. M. Surrisi is set in a small town in Maine. Quinnie has just sad goodbye to her best friend and is facing the reality that her BFF's house will be rented out to a new family and a new student. This is town is small enough that Quinnie and her BFF are usually the only students.
Ms Stillford, though, doesn't show for classes, even after giving Quinnie the lesson plans. Quinnie is convinced that something terrible has happened to her teacher. Her mother — who wears many hats in town including mayor and sheriff wants her to stay out of the investigation. Quinnie, though, can't help but look.
Maybe it's the setting — a small, fictitious coastal Maine town, but The Maypop Kidnapping has a similar structure to a Murder She Wrote episode, if it were Mrs. Fletcher who was missing and one of her students had to solve the mystery (she is canonically a teacher).
All the clues are there in the setting, the characters, and in the events that happen around Quinnie as she investigates. There is grumpy lobster fisherman; there are the dotty nuns; there are the rowdy punks from out of town; there is historic district that can't be changed or improved and is falling to pieces.
The Maypop Kidnapping is a very satisfying read. It keeps a good balance between being a whodunit and a thriller. It keeps you guessing and turning the pages, but does drop enough clues to help you sort out the solution if you're paying attention.
There's now a sequel, Vampires on the Run, coming out in March.