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A Hitch at the Fairmont by Jim Averbeck
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A Hitch at the Fairmont

by Jim Averbeck

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This was a really creative and engaging mystery, complete with a thrilling climax.

I really enjoyed the addition of Alfred Hitchcock into the middle grade mystery section.

My only problem with this book is the length, it's almost too long. I enjoyed this book, but I'm worried the length will prevent some people from picking it up.

Happy reading! ( )
  hawaiianmermaid701 | Jul 7, 2016 |
Jack's quite an artist for his age. He can draw almost anything, even places and people he's seen very briefly. All he has to do is close his eyes and grip a pencil and something magic happens. Sadly, the only exception to this is his late father who was killed in World war II. No matter how hard Jack tries, he comes up blank. Before she vanished by driving a car into the ocean in an apparent suicide, his mom, a small time actress, told him that he looked just like his father.
The story opens in 1956 with Jack being hauled off from Los Angeles to San Francisco by his aunt Edith who not only is cruel and cold, but didn't give him time to pack his own belongings. Instead, she packed two crates, one with some of his stuff, the other with stuff his mother left behind.
When they arrive in San Francisco, Jack discovers that his aunt is a permanent resident on an upper floor in the Fairmont Hotel and doesn't trust anyone. She's addicted to fancy chocolates which he has to get from a shop on the hotel's main floor whenever she's out. When he goes to get on the elevator for a late evening chocolate run, he's greeted by a large man whose voice is eerily familiar. Jack recognizes one of his favorite TV personalities, Alfred Hitchcock and notices that he enters the room next to Aunt Edith's.
When he returns with the chocolates, Jack discovers that his aunt has been kidnapped and a ransom note has been spelled out on her bed in chocolates she'd discarded because of their flavor. At first, he's frozen and ready to panic. What can a ten year old boy who has recently been orphaned do? When he remembers who is in the next room, he begins to take control of things. It is a challenge to convince Mr. Hitchcock to help him, especially since he has a fear of policemen, but despite a comedy of errors when they try to report Aunt Edith's abduction, Jack manages to get Alfred to help figure out what really happened to his aunt, why one of the supposed ransom notes may not have come from whoever grabbed her and what the real significance of the seven characters on the silver coffin-shaped charm allegedly left by his deceased father is. Before the crime is solved, Jack and his hero have disrupted the funeral of a perfect stranger by singing bawdy lyrics, dressed in drag, outwitted some really evil people and discovered an amazing secret about Jack's late father. This is a fun read for tweens who like mysteries and books with plenty of action. If they know anything about the history of early television, that will make this even more fun to read. It's a book worthy of a juvenile Edgar nomination as well as being in pretty much every public and school library. ( )
  sennebec | Sep 25, 2014 |
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When his aunt is kidnapped, an eleven-year-old boy staying at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel in 1956 tries to find her, with the help of Alfred Hitchcock.

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