Project Description



by Kristin Wolden Nitz

This well-plotted whodunit will hook readers from the start and keep them reading until the surprising solution is revealed.

Seventeen-year-old Jen is scheduled to spend a thrilling summer helping Grandma Kay run the Schoenhaus, a Victorian bed and breakfast in the Missouri vineyards. But Grandma Kay’s plans include a lot more than housekeeping. She intends to solve a real mystery from the past involving the disappearance of a beautiful and accomplished young woman.

And the victim was Jen’s own mother.

Ellen disappeared without a trace when her daughter was still young. For years, Jen received holiday gifts in the mail and letters signed by her mother. But then the communication abruptly stopped. Now Grandma Kay is convinced the letters were forged and that her daughter-in-law was murdered.

The stage is set for an elaborate Mystery Weekend at the inn. Family members and friends—including Jen’s very recent ex-boyfriend, her old childhood crush and his insufferable girlfriend—assemble and are assigned roles to play. But as the drama unfolds, Jen makes an important off-stage discovery in the Schoenhaus library. Soon her worst suspicions are aroused: Could a member of her own close-knit family be responsible for her mother’s disappearance?

Author Kristin Wolden Nitz has penned a satisfying story that artfully combines all the necessary elements of a great mystery: believability, well-drawn characters, a unique setting, well-laid clues, and a final rewarding solution.

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-543-0
Total Pages: 224
Size: 5 1/4 x 8
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-720-5
Age Range: 12 – 16
Language: English

Purchase this E-book through the following vendors:

Baker & Taylor
Barnes & Noble
Recorded Books

Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 158943
AR Reading Level: 4.4
AR Points: 7

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: W
F&P Grade: 6

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 5.2
Reading Counts Points: 13


“…scores as a darned good little mystery. Intriguing, suspenseful fun.” ―Kirkus

“Mystery fans will root for Jen and speculate away as they try to figure out what really happened…” ―Booklist

“…a short book at under 230 pages, but not a page is wasted… The story is sharp and lean; the writing is tight and focused.” ―New York Journal of Books

“Nitz is a fine writer and weaver of interesting plots, a sure sign of success for the YA crowd looking for drama and suspense.” ―Grand Rapids Press

Read More

“…the book has wholesome characters and an innocent love story.” ―School Library Journal

“…Nitz sets up a classic cozy mystery…” ―Center for Children’s Books Bulletin

“…Overall, Nitz’s novel weaves the lives of many characters together comfortably in the setting of an entertaining Mystery Weekend. Her primary achievement in the novel, however, is in making the text come alive through familiar characters and easy-flowing dialogue…” ―Minnesota State University Corresponder

Read Less


Best Fiction for Young Adults (nominee) ―YALSA 2011

Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2011

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (high school) ―Kansas National Education Association 2011

KSRA Young Adult Book Award (nominee) ―Keystone State Reading Association 2011

Society of School Librarians International Book Awards (Best Book, Language Arts 7-12 Novels) ―Society of School Librarians International 2011

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Meet the Author

Kristin Wolden Nitz is an avid sports fan, coach, and the author of many magazine articles on kids and sports. Nitz is the author of Suspect and Defending Irene, and has also written nonfiction books, including Play By Play Softball, Play By Play Track, and Play By Play Field. She lives in Michigan. You can visit her website here.