ABOUT THE BOOK
The Body on the Beach: A Kat Dylan Mystery
Written by Chris Wieland
Illustrated by Leanne Franson
Ages 9+ | 360 Pages
Publisher: The Smart Aleck Press (2023) | ISBN-13: 9798985701326
Publisher’s Book Summary: In this sequel to 2022’s The Crabtree Monsters, thirteen-year-old girl detective Kat Dylan and her little brother, Alec, are back!
Even after cracking the case of the century, Kat and Alec are still stuck in Crabtree, Michigan, and suffering through a long, cold Midwest winter. When Gabby, a middle school “mean girl,” approaches her with a problem, Kat can’t imagine it’s worth her time—or that there’s a chance Gabby’s problems will lead to the next big mystery. But when Gabby becomes the focus of the local police, especially Kat’s Grandpa Nick, her interest is piqued. Before Kat can get to the bottom of things, she finds Gabby lying dead on Crabtree’s frozen beach.
Suddenly, Kat is awash in questions. Who killed Gabby? Could Kat have saved her if she’d paid closer attention to the mean girl’s troubles? From there, Kat, with Alec in tow, sets out to find answers and bring the murderer to justice. Along the way, she learns that Gabby’s case is tied to another investigation: the kidnapping of a rich kid from Chicago whose family is intertwined with the people who own most of Crabtree.
As she and Alec dig, they find themselves at odds with kidnappers and killers, private eyes and cops, and more than a few kids and adults who would just like them to go away.
In this second installment, Kat and Alec are still in Crabtree with their Grandpa Nick. In the first book they solved a series of bank robberies that their grandfather was framed for and he is now back at work at the police department. The kids seem to be settling into life in this small lakefront town; Alec has a buddy that loves skateboards as much as he does and Kat is on the middle school basketball team. That should keep them busy and out of trouble, but then one of Kat’s team members asks her for help. Once again there is a mystery afoot and the siblings are mixed up in it. Instead of robbers wearing monster masks there is a kidnapping, Chicago tycoons, hired security agents, and a death. Between the snowy weather, angry phone calls from their parents, their friend Tom trying to become a teen detective (but without a clue), and the continued blundering of Sheriff Dancer - how are a couple of California kids supposed to straighten everything out? Although the mystery involves serious issues and consequences, Kat also deals with more usual middle school drama. She doesn’t get along with most of the ball team, she misses her best friend Chloe back in LA, and she hates it when Alec teases her that Tom is her boyfriend. Whether readers enjoy suspense, tense action sequences, or mystery mixed in with a school setting, this is a story that will keep them guessing until the end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Wieland is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is also the father of two fierce children, including a tough, smart tween who helped him find the voice of his protagonist, Kat Dylan. He lives in Southern California with his family.
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