Tuesday, October 18, 2011

REVIEW: The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz

Title: The Case of the Missing Deed
Author: Ellen Schwartz
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 200 

Take a dash of colorful characters, a pinch of danger, and generous scoops of adventure and you have a terrific culinary mystery for young readers.

Five cousins are looking forward to their annual vacation at their grandmother’s cottage. None of them knows that this may be their last such summer. A mining company has set its sights on the land and is determined to seize it. Grandma must produce the deed to prove that the property is really hers, but her memory is not what it used to be, and she can’t find it. The children suspect there may be clues to the deed’s whereabouts somewhere in the family’s cherished trove of recipes. But can they solve the mystery in time?

Adult mystery buffs have had many culinary mysteries to choose from. Ellen Schwartz introduces her young readers to a delicious genre. She even provides easy-to-follow and yummy to eat recipes.


“…The Case of the Missing Deed is fast-paced, and full of cryptic clues, secret codes, and red herrings…. Schwartz beautifully captures the agony, ecstasy, and exquisite self-centredness of a 13-year-old girl on a family vacation…. The Case of the Missing Deed is a great summer read for kids who love a good, meaty mystery as much as they love a delicious homemade dessert.”
Quill & Quire
“For pre-teens who enjoy decoding secret messages while solving a mystery and doing some cooking on the side, The Case of the Missing Deed… fits all requirements.”
The Winnipeg Free Press
“Excellent writing style propels the novel, making it almost impossible to put down….”
— Excellent, Resource Links  (As found on Amazon.com)


I found The Case of the Missing Deed, to be a very good book for those who enjoy the YA genre. I would even recommend it to parents to read to their children because I found it to be a very heartwarming book about family unity. 
Five cousins come together once a year at their grandmother's cottage to spend some time and have fun. The sad thing is that their reunions might be coming to an unexpexted end when a mining company threatens to take away their grandmother's property in hopes of building a mining site whose access roads would be going through her property. 
Whats the catch? IF their grandmother can find the deed to the property and prove that the land is hers, Tantalus Mining would have no choice but to leave her and her property alone. But, (there's always a but...) the childrens grandfather was a very smart man who didn't believe in just leaving things around the house (or in a bank). He liked to leave little clues lieing around so that you could find them and try to solve where he had hidden things. Since he knew he would soon be leaving them, he had told there grandmother everything she needed to know in order to find the deed. Thing is... SHE DOESN'T REMEMBER! Her memory isn't what it use to be, and between caring for her husband and trying to keep everything in running order, everything he told her went in one ear, and out the other. 
Now, the children will all come together to TRY and find all the clues their grandfather could have left them. But time is of the essence AND it's running out. Will they be able to put everything together before their time runs out?? 
The Case of the Missing Deed, is a page turner that I enjoyed very much.  Ellen Schwartz did a great job with the clues, the mystery and the love of a family. She's even nice enough to add a few yummy recipes you could make for yourself. I've already tried one!

It's 5 out of 5 hearts for me.

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