cover image The Dead Man in Indian Creek

The Dead Man in Indian Creek

Mary Downing Hahn. Clarion Books, $15 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-395-52397-1

Matt would like nothing more than to forget the corpse that he and his best friend Parker found in Indian Creek. But Parker is convinced that his mother's new boyfriend, Mr. Evans, has something to do with the dead man's death. Against his better judgment, Matt accompanies Parker on an investigation of Evans's antique store, where the boys unearth evidence that Evans is involved in a cocaine ring. But before the pair can report their findings to the police, gang members are hot on their trail. Thus begins a hair-raising chase that winds through the town's Halloween parade and finishes in the boys' secret hideout. Thanks to the help of a classmate and the dubious efforts of two bratty kid sisters, Parker and Matt outwit the villains and bring them to justice. A combination of crackling language and plenty of suspense, this fast-paced yarn is likely to appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Ages 9-13. (Mar.)