Small-town sleuth meets Shakespeare in 'Absolutely Truly'

Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the 'Mother-Daughter Book Club' books, returns to New England to create a cozy setting for her new series. 

Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery By Heather Vogel Frederick Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers 368 pp.

What happens when a 6-foot-tall 12-year-old named Truly Lovejoy must leave her dream home in Austin, Texas, and settle in the frozen village of “population you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire”? She finds a mystery to solve, of course.

Fans of Heather Vogel Frederick’s “Mother-Daughter Book Club” series will be pleased to discover that Frederick launched a brand-new series last month. And like the “Mother-Daughter Book Club,” Absolutely Truly, the first book of the “Pumpkin Falls Mystery” series is charming, slyly humorous, steeped in New England ambiance, and aimed squarely at book lovers.

It’s no accident that Frederick, a former Monitor children’s books editor, sets her story’s action in a bookstore. Truly discovers a clue in a first edition of “Charlotte’s Web” and must brush up on her Shakespeare to stay on the trail.

Calling all book lovers – this one looks like a gentle winner.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.