#MyrtleMondays: Three Cheers–And a Star!–for Myrtle

When I started #MyrtleMondays, it was because I was sitting on a HEAP of good news that I couldn’t wait to share. It’s finally time: Premeditated Myrtle has received several enthusiastic institutional reviews–including a STAR from Booklist! Huzzah!


There is something afoot at Redgraves, the house neighboring Myrtle Hardcastle’s own, which is why the precocious 12-year-old took it upon herself to phone the police. Myrtle is quite sure that something dastardly has occurred, but she is thrilled when the crime appears to be murder—not that anyone else is calling it that, yet. After the body of cranky old Miss Wodehouse is removed from its last earthly bubble bath, the cause of death is pronounced to be heart failure; or, if you’re Myrtle, heart failure due to poisoning. Myrtle’s above-average intellect, passions for justice and science (an endearing blend of her parents’ professions), fondness for detective stories, and predilection for asking questions make her the perfect person to investigate what is obviously a crime most foul. Written very much in the style of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries, Myrtle’s spirited investigation—aided by her governess, who champions the Socratic method of learning—is a joyful thing to behold. Well-crafted red herrings throw Myrtle and readers alike for a loop or two, and an old story about a rare and precious flower grows some very real roots as details about Miss Wodehouse emerge. Set in Victorian England, this mystery gleefully overturns sexist norms and celebrates independent women of intellect, with Myrtle Hardcastle leading the charge.

Right now, Booklist is making their digital editions available online free to everyone! The May 1 issue, “Spotlight on Crime Fiction” features mysteries and true crime for all ages—so be sure to check out everything you’ll be wanting to read while waiting for the big #DoubleMyrtle release of Premeditated Myrtle and How to Get Away with Myrtle on October 6. (I certainly saw several things I’m itching for!)

Please have a look at the main Premeditated Myrtle page, where you can read the full reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, Horn Book, and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

Happy reading!

ps: I have even MORE good news: I have turned in Book 3 to my publisher, and I’m amassing a stack of research materials for Book 4!

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