children, mystery

Bitter Tastes

Author: V.B. Rosendahl
Publisher: Stargazer Press
Genre: Children’s / Mystery
ISBN: 0-9734940-9-3
Pages: 108
Price: $12.00

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Nancy Drew, move over – Kathy and Martha are the new detectives in town!

It’s bad enough Kathy Harmon had to move from New Jersey to North Carolina at the start of sixth grade. But it’s even worse that she’s “different.”

Miss Janine had been kind to her, helping her cope with her handicap while she learned to cook. And now she’s dead. Kathy was there on the day Miss Janine died, and she may have seen something that will help solve the murder.

Kathy has only made one friend so far – Martha Cunningham. When Martha finds out Kathy wants to find Miss Janine’s killer, the two play “Nancy Drew,” snooping in places they have no right to be.

Kathy and Martha are likeable girls – smart, clever, and quirky. They use good logic in figuring out who to include as likely suspects, and why these people might have killed Miss Janine.

Bitter Tastes is a fast and fun read. Children will enjoy it for its kid-appeal, suspenseful action, and great main characters. Although it opens at the climax to immediately grab the reader, this story easily stands on its own, and I’d suggest it might even have worked better written in a linear fashion. I hope Kathy and Martha will get to have their own mystery series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger