Cold Case

Julia Platt Leonard. S&S/Aladdin, $15.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2009-0
The debut of former journalist and chef Leonard is an entertaining if straightforward mystery that nicely integrates espionage and the author's culinary background into a traditional murder investigation. Thirteen-year-old Oz works in the family restaurant, helping his older brother, Dave, and mother, and hoping to become a chef himself one day. When Oz opens the restaurant one Saturday to find a dead journalist in the kitchen, his life is turned upside down. Dave is soon being questioned in the murder, and Oz discovers that their late father was suspected of espionage while working at Los Alamos. As Oz and his rebellious, overcaffeinated friend, Rusty, look into the case, they discover a potential conspiracy dating back years. Readers won't be surprised to learn that some of the adults that the kids trust turn out to be more than they seem, and the occasional red herring doesn't do much to muddy the waters. Still, Leonard's firsthand chef experience shows in the attention to detail in the kitchen scenes, and Oz's obsessions with both cooking and clearing his brother's name help carry the novel. Ages 8–12. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4424-2750-1
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-1-4424-2010-6
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