The title: Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery
The author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Publication: Simon & Schuster, 2014
Got it from: Hoopla Audiobooks
Exciting news for fans of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series: after writing what was supposed to be the final book in the series back in 2012, author Heather Vogel Frederick has announced another installment due next spring. In the meantime, I've been listening to the audiobook of her new chapter book for younger readers.
Truly Lovejoy is 13 and her family has just moved to Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire from Texas after her father sustained an injury fighting overseas. Truly's family is concerned about the change in their father, who has become more stern and withdrawn. Taking over the family bookstore might be what he needs to get back on his feet. Meanwhile, Truly has to deal with the awkwardness of moving to a new town and adolescence in general.
At first I was skeptical. These weren't my beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club characters, and Truly seemed like a bit of a whiny brat. But as with the MDBC series, I began to warm to the story and the charming small-town characters. The book doesn't really start getting good until Truly starts solving the mystery. As with the girls of the MDBC, Truly leads a busy life that involves dancing lessons, swimming, birding and algebra lessons that she has to squeeze the mystery around. The mystery involves a series of clues found in a first edition of Charlotte's Web. (I totally figured out who the letters were for early on.) As an added bonus, a familiar character from the Mother-Daughter Book Club universe makes a hilarious cameo.
Hooray for Pumpkin Falls and what will hopefully be the first of many in a new mystery series.