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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Francie returns to Enchantment Lake looking for answers, only to get dragged into a murder mystery she might not survive Francie’s brother Theo has secrets—secrets Francie thinks she wants to know. But what if one of those secrets is that Theo is a murderer? To avoid considering that possibility, Francie plunges into her senior year at a small-town high school near Enchantment Lake in northern Minnesota. It’s a radical change from her private school in New York, but she hopes to keep an eye on her great aunts and maybe finally learn more about the mother she never knew. A small silver box seems to hold the answers, and she is determined to get her hands on it. But when her long-lost brother turns up, so does a dead body, and once again Francie is drawn into a mystery. A long list of suspects, with Theo at the top, keeps her head spinning. When Francie herself becomes a suspect she starts to feel like she is walking on thin ice, but it isn’t until she is literally walking on thin …

Overall Book Review:

This suspenseful, spooky book is the second installment of the Enchantment Lake Mysteries. Readers follow Francie’s next steps in her journey as she starts her senior year of high school in a new town closer to the lake where her aunts live. New characters are introduced amongst the familiar faces from the first book.

As with the first book, Francie cannot help but be pulled into the mysteries of the lake and a new murder. However, Francie is torn between wanting to find the truth and protecting those she loves. More details about her past are revealed in this book, but the reader is still left hanging at the end of the book with many unanswered questions.

Jokes were made throughout the book of Francie not wanting to be compared to Nancy Drew; however, if the shoe fits… It is an accurate comparison of this modernized teenage detective. This is a book for those who like mystery with an touch of danger and suspense.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by University of Minnesota Press

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 variation of religious exclamation.

Violence/Gore:  Potential intruder or bear; punches arm of another; dream of being swallowed by a fish and drowning; pursued by unknown man; objects thrown at person and leaves unconscious; reference to almost getting self and others killed; reference to murder; reference to phrase: ‘if looks could kill” an individual would be dead; felt as if struck by lightning; dead body; thought of meeting a killer; person murdered; reference to wanting to stab someone 100 times; reference to the potential that an individual could be a murderer; thought of parent being murdered; reference to bird feeding on corpse in a play; reference to being stoned to death in a play; wanted to slug a person; report of parental death; reference to heart in a box; Oedipus married mother, gouged eyes out, mother killed herself, brothers go to war against each other, 2 brothers kill each other, person shut up in tomb to die – all in the play within the story; reference to death of mammoths; individuals fell into a trench resulting in stitches in the head and an ace bandaged ankle; reference to feeling like a stab with a steak knife; strangulation as cause of death; verbal banter of ‘you’ll probably chop my arm off.”; thought of the potential of a cookie being a murder weapon; reference to someone being the killer; stabbing food as if wanting to kill it; trying to kill people with the food; report of individual falling down the stairs resulting in broken bones and head injury; being alone with a murderer; corpse; thought of freezing to death; reference to death via heart attack; individual found a human bone; someone following/watching individual; individual falls through ice on lake; reference to feeling like being seared with liquid nitrogen; thoughts of dying; individual slugged another individual; thrown pillow at individual; imagery of wolf stalking deer; thought individual was dead; bashed individual in the head from behind; creepy scene; thoughts of dying via hypothermia or being buried alive; reference to character in play hanging self with veil; threat of knife; adult lunges towards minor two times with knife; reference to killing of animals for body parts mostly for medicinal uses.

Sex/Nudity:  Flirtatious behaviors; subtle sexual references to the words homo erectus; held hands longer than necessary.

Mature Subject Matter:

Murder; Parental death/Abandonment; Underage drinking; Near death situations; Poaching.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Smuggling of rum between countries in the 1920’s and 1930’s; mention of drunk kids at school dance; liquor smuggling.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite books are ones that change me and my perceptions of the world in a significant way. My favorite genre is probably historical fiction with biographies as a close second.