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The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada's Reef
Publishers Weekly, AND
★ "Each character, historic and contemporary, sparks with life. Lark’s process and the reveals are perfectly paced. . . . Most heartwarming, Lark develops feelings of loyalty toward her blended family and uncovers a surprising link to their property. Readers will be hooked—more, please!"—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
★ " . . . A disarmingly no-nonsense, self-aware narrator . . . tightly plotted story of family intrigue and blackmail has considerable emotional ballast . . ." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Michael D. Beil's delightful middle-grade mystery is itself like an old novel: unhurriedly paced, impeccably written and including many orphaned children . . . a race-against-the-clock mystery with the signposts of a classic crime caper (a missing will, a curious old painting), but the book isn't a total throwback: homophobia influences a key plot point, and Lark emerges as something of a junior action hero." —Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
"Fans of mystery will enjoy how Lark goes all out to solve this case. . . . Main characters are well fleshed out, and the author does a wonderful job of bringing this island and its inhabitants to life. . . . An entertaining mystery for fans of Sammy Keyes and Nancy Drew about family, loss, and the importance of friendship."—School Library Journal
"Editors' Pick, Best Book Ages 9 - 12 — Amazon.com
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Punctuated with transcripts, letters, maps, black-and-white illustrations and more, The Swallowtail Legacy: Wreck at Ada's Reef is a vibrant contemporary mystery with a classic feel exploring righting past wrongs, redefining family, and finding yourself.
Twelve-year-old Lark Heron-Finch is steeling herself to spend the summer on Swallowtail Island off the shores of Lake Erie. It's the first time that she and her sister will have seen the old house since their mom passed away. And while her stepfather and his boys are okay, the island's always been full of happy memories--and now everything is different.
When Nadine, a close family friend, tells Lark about a tragic boat accident that happened off the coast many years before, Lark's enthralled with the story. Nadine's working on a book about Dinah Purdy, Swallowtails's oldest resident who had a connection to the crash, and she's sure that the accident was not as it appeared. Impressed by Lark's keen eye, she hires her as her research assistant for the summer.
And then Lark discovers something amazing. Something that could change Dinah's life. Something linked to the crash and even to her own family's history with Swallowtail. But there are others on the island who would do anything to keep the truth buried in the watery depths of the past.
A compelling and complex mystery with a classic feel, Wreck at Ada's Reef is perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance, Holes, The Westing Game, and anyone looking for a satisfying puzzle that stretches across decades.
Planning a trip to Swallowtail Island? Here's the map that appears in the book, courtesy of Pixel+Ink Books and artist Torborg Davern: