Book Review of The Body on the Beach: A Kat Dylan Mystery
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The Children’s Book Review
What to Expect: Family, divorce, bullying, murder, privilege
In this thrilling follow-up to The Crabtree Monsters, Wieland’s smart, sassy, strong-minded heroine returns to detective work, unraveling not only a gripping murder mystery but also the complications of absentee parents, divorce, bullying, and town politics.
Kat and Alec probably should have left Crabtree when they had the chance. Despite having solved a crime and gotten their grandpa out of jail, the two siblings still have to face facts: Crabtree remained a depressed town ruled by corrupt citizens, with a dwindling population and very little to offer two kids looking for friends and fun. However, it seems that their sleuthing days are not quite over yet. When a mean girl asks for Kat’s help and then winds up dead on the beach, Kat finds herself digging deep into the town’s secrets, politics, and power plays, uncovering things that might have been best left in the shadows.
As with the first book, complex and thought-provoking ideas are balanced by optimism throughout, while the believability of the main characters helps readers see that most problems can be overcome with the right mindset and support. In this second book, readers will also enjoy seeing several relationships become more complex, including Kat’s relationship with Alec and with her crush, Tommy. Kat is also developing, and becoming more certain about her identity and place in life.
The Body on the Beach is a strong sequel to what is proving to be an engrossing middle-grade mystery series.
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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.
For more information, visit https://www.thesmartaleckpress.com/.
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