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Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery Paperback – May 1, 2007


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Behind the Curtain: An Echo Falls Mystery + Into the Dark (Echo Falls Mystery) + Down the Rabbit Hole (An Echo Falls Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Echo Falls Mystery
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060737069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060737061
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Ingrid Levin-Hill, the eighth-grade Sherlock Holmes lover introduced in Down the Rabbit Hole (HarperCollins, 2005), is back for another adventure. She quotes her hero quite often as she tries to sort out details that she observes around her. In trying to figure out why her brother is so moody, why her dad is in jeopardy of losing his job, and why her grandfather's property is so valuable, the teen stumbles upon some of her town's secrets. Then, when she is kidnapped but is able to escape, she can't get anyone to believe her. This is a fast-paced mystery with well-defined characters and a plausible plotline and ending. Although a few references are made to the earlier book, this enjoyable story stands on its own.-Denise Moore, O'Gorman Junior High School, Sioux Falls, SD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. The second entry in the Echo Falls Mystery series, as successful as its predecessor, starts with puzzling questions that spring right from Ingrid Levin-Hill's own life: Why is her football-mad older brother suddenly so much stronger, and why has her father been so tense lately? The plot unfolds slowly at first, but Abrahams' exceptional overlay of detail, especially descriptions of the particular stresses and the goofy occurrences that mark Ingrid's experiences as an eighth-grader, makes the story very convincing as the action builds. Ingrid discovers anabolic steroids are behind her brother's improved performance and new aggressiveness (and also behind some of the mysterious behavior of various people in her town), but just as she is about to do something with her knowledge, she is kidnapped. She escapes, but police don't believe her story, and she has to set up her own sting to prove she is telling the truth. A timely issue gives this mystery a "ripped from the headlines" flavor, but the real kick for readers comes from a believable eighth-grade heroine's investigation of a high-school scandal. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Peter Abrahams - "criminally gifted" according to the New York Times Book Review - is the author of 27 novels. These include the New York Times bestselling Echo Falls mystery series for middle-graders (DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, BEHIND THE CURTAIN, INTO THE DARK) and REALITY CHECK (2009) for teens. Among his adult books are OBLIVION (Shamus prize finalist), THE FAN (made into a movie with Robert DeNiro) and LIGHTS OUT (Edgar award finalist). DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE was a finalist for the Edgar best young adult mystery award and won the Agatha in the same category. BEHIND THE CURTAIN and INTO THE DARK were Agatha finalists. In her Cleveland Plain Dealer review of NERVE DAMAGE (2007), Michelle Ross wrote: "I swear, if one more literary person says in that oh-so-condescendng tone, 'Oh, I don't read ... mysteries,' I'm going to take a novel by Peter Abrahams and smack him on his smug little head." REALITY CHECK won the best young adult mystery Edgar award in 2010. ROBBIE FORESTER AND THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD STREET, January 2012, is first in a new middle-grade series about a twelve-year-old Robin Hood in contemporary Brooklyn.
As Spencer Quinn, Abrahams also writes the New York Times bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery series: DOG ON it, THEREBY HANGS A TAIL, TO FETCH A THIEF, and THE DOG WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. He has a website - peterabrahams.com; and so does Chet - chetthedog.com.

Customer Reviews

Ingrid's love of Conan Doyle and the Sherlock Holmes stories guides her through a world of trouble.
Kevin Killian
This fast paced and suspenseful story will keep you reading to the end, and even then you won't want to put it down!
Lily Martin
This, the second book in the Echo Falls mystery series featuring 13-year-old Ingrid, is as good as the first.
Ohioan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Peter Abrahams returns to the world of Echo Falls, where young Ingrid Levin-Hill is just trying to get by, navigating the slippery slopes of being a kid in the 21st century. While basically she's got a warm and protective family, there's always some friction going on, just like real life. In this book Ty's problem with anabolic steroids becomes more and more the center of Ingrid's worries. She notices things about him her mom and dad are just to preoccupied to see, or too blind, for they're proud of him and his success in organized sport in school.

Meanwhile her dad, who as we all remember works for a corporation owned by the richest man in town, feels threatened by the incursion of a new, chic, blonde dynamo who's become thisclose to the boss. Ferrand's not only wealthy, but evil, and Ingrid wouldn't put it past him to dump her dad in favor of this new executive woman, Julia LeCaine, who as it happens is also the new coach of her soccer team and sort of ruthless. At 99 Maple Lane everyone's got a secret (except Mom, and I bet that will be in the next book in the series) and the gorgeous scenery of Echo Falls is often ironically counterpointed to the nasty behavior of its human residents.

Grampy (Aylmer Hill) is still alive, though he's sinking, and his farm is under siege from developers led by the same Ferrand Group that his son-in-law works for. It would be a great coup for Dad in the company if he was the one who secured the land away from Grampy. Ingrid doesn't want to see that happen.

In the middle of all this, she is falling in love, not a huge passionate love but a solid friendship with Joey Strade, the solid son of the town's Police Chief. Ingrid doesn't really know how she feels about that!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Echo Falls is small town Peyton Place where everyone has a secret. Behind every door is a mystery. You need a young teen detective to get beneath the town's skin

Behind the Curtain (eight hours, six CDs. unabridged) is a masterful piece of young adult storytelling that also does not talk down to adults.This sequal to "Down the Rabbit Hole" works on so many mystery levels, especially on audio.

Ingrid is a young Nancy Drew/Veronica Mars clone who idolizes The great detective Sherlock Holmes. The book's lit reference to Sherlock, Nancy Drew and the Wizard of OZ will catch the adult ears, where it may skiped over by the young adults who listen to this piece. The myatery seems so good. This piece is character driven and moves like a Le Carre Smiley novel-piecing the puzzle slowly as any good mystery piece would

Peter Abrahams text blended with the narrative vocals of Colleen Delaney works so well. Her vocal shade is amazing. The pacing of this audio production is steady, rather than rushed..as most young adult audios are. as a Listener(as I did), You want this audio to go on and continue this story ...you become spellbound with the characters and the town.

Personal note- Peter, when is your next book? I'm Hooked!

Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOWORLD
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ingrid Levin-Hill is back. And if you thought she had troubles in DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE, just you wait! Ingrid is the very precocious, very active 13-year-old amateur detective who lives in Echo Falls. Her role model is Sherlock Holmes, and she applies his cunning logic to her cases (although the results are not always the same).

The first problem Ingrid uncovers is when she accidentally sees her father surfing the Internet for jobs. He never said anything about looking for a new job! Has something bad happened at work? And then, while helping her brother Ty do his weightlifting, she notices his muscles building up and he seems to be getting stronger. At the same time, she discovers a little brown bottle that looks like it came from Mexico. The only word she can read is something like "steroids." Steroids! Oh, no. Ty can't be taking steroids --- they're illegal! She can't report him because then her own brother would be going to jail. Is Ty really on steroids? Where is he getting them? And how can Ingrid break up an international steroid ring --- if there really is one?

Next, there's her grandfather. Someone is trying to evict him from his family farm, which has now turned into precious property within the city limits. Who is behind this, and how can Ingrid save the farm?

Meanwhile, a new assistant soccer coach appears at practice. She's cool and calculating, blonde and beautiful, and by the very strangest of circumstances just happens to be the new woman who has been hired to work in Ingrid's dad's office! Coincidence? Sherlock and Ingrid think otherwise.

And, oh yes, there's the little matter of someone kidnapping Ingrid. Who would do such a thing, and for heaven's sake, why? What's worse is that almost no one believes she was really kidnapped.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J.C. on July 27, 2006
Format: Library Binding
some 13 year olds read Sherlock Holmes. Not all kids have been affected by the dumbing down of America.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Behind the Curtain : An Echo Falls Mystery by Peter Abrahams is the second book in the Echo Falls series, after last year's Down the Rabbit Hole. These are Abrahams's first children's/young adult books, after writing many adult mysteries. I really enjoyed Down the Rabbit Hole, because it was a classic sort of mystery, with clues and red herrings and all of that, with a smart, realistic 13-year-old girl as the protagonist.

Behind the Curtain picks up not long after the solution of the previous mystery, and continues many of the family-related threads left open in the first book. Ingrid finds herself investigating steroid use at the local high school, while worrying about her brother's health, the stability of her father's job, and the pressure on her grandfather to sell his farm. Ingrid's Dad is particularly cranky in this installment, as he reacts poorly to competition at work. But Grampy remains his quirky and lovable self.

Here's my problem with this book, however. I saw the solution to all of the open questions very very early into the book. It was just too easy. Now, I know that I'm not the target age range for this book, and that I've read a lot more mysteries than most 13-year-olds have. But I still have trouble believing that kids wouldn't see the end coming a long way off.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book. It's well-written. Abrahams has an excellent sense for the way kids think and interact. I like the town that Ingrid lives in, and I like the way family dynamics play an important part in the story. I also like Ingrid (she's on the Cool Girls list), and after two books, I feel like I know her pretty well. She trusts her own instincts, and she doesn't let anyone push her around. I'll certainly look for the next book in the series. I just hope that Abrahams learns to trust his readers a bit more, and ratchets up the mystery a bit.

[...]
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