The Thief at Keswick Inn
Bailey Fish, eleven, is happy when the Keswick family plans to move into a once-elegant country home near where she and her grandmother, Sugar, live at Lake Anna. The adopted, homeschooled brothers, Noah and Fred Keswick, are about Bailey's age and fun to be with. Bailey and Justin Rudd, a neighborhood boy with a reputation of being a bully, are hired to help the Keswicks with cleaning and repairs. The kids are excited to discover valuable and historic items among the trash inside the old house, which has been renamed Keswick Inn. Then, one by one, these treasures disappear. Justin's unusual behavior makes him the main suspect as detectives Noah, Fred, and Bailey try to solve the mystery.
The embedded history involves learning about Native Americans in Virginia.
Here's an excerpt from this book. Don't miss the excitement of the entire adventure series
When they reached the little graveyard halfway between their houses, Bailey called to the boys to stop for a minute. She told them about what she had read and about her list.
"See," said Noah, "that proves it. It could only be Justin. Wait till he shows his face again."
Fred said, "But we don't have real proof. We need to set a trap. You said so yourself."
Noah stuck his chin out. "Whose side are you on?"
Bailey said, "It shouldn't be hard. If one more thing is missing, we just need to see who is there at the time. Here is what the book said about setting a trap." She showed them notes she had made from that chapter.
"That gives me an idea," said Noah. He reached in his jeans pockets and pulled out a little felt bag with a drawstring. In it was one of his most prized possessions-a pocketknife that had belonged to his birth father.
"I'm going to tell that creep, Justin, that I just found it in the attic and I'll put it on the sorting room table. We'll see how long it takes for him to steal it. We'll catch the thief and I'll get my knife back."
"What if he ditches the knife?" asked Fred.
"He won't," said Noah. "He'll want to keep it like all the rest of the stuff he stole."
The Thief at Keswick Inn was named the "President's Pick 2007"
at the Florida Publishers Association President's Book Awards Luncheon
in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 15.
"Bailey wears her thoughts and emotions on her sleeve, which makes it easy to connect with her character. The author does a masterful job layering the plot with other themes (adoption, friendship, judging others) and information to pique a reader's interest: homeschooling, bullying, Native American tribes, and classic literature. Although this is a different genre, and Bailey is not a super-sleuth, the story-telling style will remind you of Carolyn Keene and Nancy Drew."--The Reading Tub
"I want to read all the books in the series. I can't wait for [them] to come out. I like what do write. The ending was great." Andy Archibald, sixth grade
"I love the excitement of [Wild Women]. It's a great story!" Rachel Crowder, sixth grade
Reviewed by Eric Zeda (age 9) for Reader
“It is great for kids who like to read mysteries. I gave it ghree stars because I enjoy reading action-packed books. I recommend The Thief at Keswick Inn for anyone that likes detective stories, but not for kids who want an action-packed story.”
Sample Book Club Questions: When we find out we have wronged or wrongly blamed someone, what should we do? What does Bailey decide to do? Whose idea is it? Would you do the same as Bailey?
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The Thief of Keswick Inn won the Florida Publishers Association President's Pick 2007 award in the FPA President's Book Award contest. Pictured are Florida Publishers Association President Frank Gromling, author Linda Salisbury, and Betsy Lampé, executive director of the FPA, in Fort Lauderdale on September 15, 2007.