cover image Mistake, Wisconsin

Mistake, Wisconsin

Kersti Niebruegge. Kersti Niebruegge (, $3.99 e-book (160p) ISBN 978-0-9908710-0-2

Megan Svenson, 15, is determined to figure out why the “Troll,” Deputy Mayor Trollqvist, has it in for the teenagers of Mistake, Wis. Not only has he exchanged tater tots for head cheese on the school menu, but he has also cancelled Opening Day festivities for musky fishing season (the fish are the pride and joy of Mistake), because of a thief stealing musky-themed mailboxes. Aiding her aunt, Sheriff Lori Holm, in tracking down the thief and trying to understand the Troll’s erratic behavior through her blog, Uff Da, Megan ensures an ending almost as satisfying as the town’s famous Blue Moon frozen custard. Shifting attention among multiple Mistake citizens, with Megan as the central figure, debut author Niebruegge creates a light, humorous mystery filled with Midwestern references—cheese curds, lutefisk dinners, supper clubs, and high school sports—and a touch of Northwoods folklore. Despite intriguing cliffhangers, Niebruegge’s characters and plot can be overshadowed by excessive town backstory and a vein of passively endured sexism (“There she goes, Miss Almost Legal”) that distract somewhat from the novel’s farcical, homespun appeal. Ages 14–up. (BookLife)