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Down the Rabbit Hole (An Echo Falls Mystery) Paperback – April 25, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In his first novel for kids, bestselling author Abrahams unspools a tale that fittingly gets curiouser and curiouser. The story shines on audio via a fine performance by Siegfried. As 13-year-old Ingrid Levin-Hill, Siegfried uses a youthful voice to convey the protagonist's age-appropriate blend of smarts, awkwardness and stubborn streak. Budding thespian and sudden amateur sleuth (who idolizes Sherlock Holmes) Ingrid finds herself in the middle of both the community theater production of Alice in Wonderland and a local murder mystery. Will her connection to the deceased be discovered? Does the creepy new actor-director in town have something to do with it all? Listeners will stick with Ingrid to find out—and may well gather some of their own theories—in this satisfyingly suspenseful outing. The fresh dialogue and believable small-town setting will tempt fans to visit Echo Falls again for any sequels. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
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 School Library Journal

Grade 6-9–An avid reader of Sherlock Holmes, Ingrid Levin-Hill, 13, is also a fleet-footed soccer player with a knack for stage acting–skills that come in handy when she finds herself caught in a police investigation following the murder of an eccentric woman. The deceased was associated with the Prescott Players, a local theater troupe in which Ingrid lands the title role in a production of Alice in Wonderland. Plot scenes incorporate play rehearsals, family life, middle school, and soccer games along with plenty of intriguing twists and mounting tension. Taking courage from her crusty grandfather, who refuses to sell his farm to an affluent developer, Ingrid acts with aplomb as she secretly undertakes a series of suspenseful adventures to track down the killer. She also maintains the cool-headedness to enjoy the friendship of the police chief's son, Joey Strade, while keeping the officers who'd like to question her at bay. Ingrid's poise, however, is tempered by her self-doubt and troubled dreams, making her a believable human. She and the other main characters are all solidly drawn, including the newest member of her family, a droopy-eyed dog named Nigel. Deft use of literary allusions and ironic humor add further touches of class to a topnotch mystery.–Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; English Language edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060737034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060737030
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on June 8, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I resisted reading DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE as long as I could, even though Peter Abrahams is my favorite suspense writer, probably because, well, the jacket said the book was written for kids, and i'm no kid and I don't even like much children's literature. But once I actually started in on the life of Ingrid Levin-Hill it reminded me not so much of Veronica Mars, as others have stated (as though Abrahams was copying the TV formula! As though he hadn't thought of this series eons before Kristen Bell ever made her appearance on the scene!)--it reminded me actually of an extension, and a natural one at that, of Abrahams' masterpiece THE TUTOR, in which pretty much the same family dynamics were played out, and in which a madly clever young girl played Sherlock Holmes and saved her whole family from ruin.

Besides, Veronica Mars is perky-cute while Ingrid is anything but. She's the kind of girl who shrugs off her own looks, and the boys tend to overlook in favor of the cheerleader or sexpot types. However, in her own way she's attractive, and by the end of chapter two or three the reader falls in love a little too. She's spunky, and some of us have a high tolerance for spunk. One gets the feeling she's terribly alone, and that Echo Falls is too small a town for her. The only man she meets who's anywhere on her level is her director in the community production of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, the eccentric, erudite hometown genius Vincent Dunn, and like another reviewer mentioned, you don't have to be an Einstein to figure out who's the evil genius behind the crime wave baffling the Echo Falls cop squad. I wonder why Abrahams made the guilty culprit so easy to identify?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I just loved the book Down The Rabbit Hole! It really fit into a childrens mystery. I couldn't put it down for a second because there was so much suspense! Every page i read i just wanted to keep reading so i could find out what happened next. I really recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries and suspense!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Echo Falls, thirteen -year-old Ingrid Levin-Hill idolizes Sherlock Holmes for his ability to see the obvious, which mostly people miss, but is proud of being named as Alice in a local production of Wonderland.

However, Ingrid has a new role as life imitates art when someone murders "Cracked-Up Katie" just after the unfortunate victim was visited by the teen sleuth as she rushed from her orthodontist to soccer practice. When the newspaper report the murder, Ingrid worries that the cops will pin the rap on her since she left her soccer cleats at the crime scene. She decides to sneak into the house to reclaim her sneakers. Meanwhile, the police chief wants to interrogate Ingrid on her soccer cleats even as she is beginning to like her adversary's son. Still Ingrid realizes she has to be better than Holmes if she is to get the top cop and a killer off her back.

Sort of like of Harriet the Spy meets Sherlock Holmes; DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE is a terrific young adult amateur sleuth tale. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action and plenty of twists as Ingrid tries to solve the case out of fear of lock up. The support cast either enhances her sleuthing, her personality, or her hometown. Though her older much bigger brother got away with sibling violence sending the wrong message to the youthful audience, readers of all ages will appreciate Ingrid Levin Hill, teen detective.

Harriet Klausner
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Central Mass. Reader on April 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you pick up this book make sure you have time to finish it in one sitting because you won't be able to put it down.

Like Harry Potter, this is an all-ages work. Abrahams is an amazing talent whose work thrills me every time and now he's writing for a younger audience which means more people can appreciate his books. If I can't convince you, read the jacket comments from Stephen King. Reviews like that aren't just handed out . . . read the book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Longtime resident Katherine Eve Kovac was murdered Thursday according to Police Chief Strade. Her body was found by a neighbor at around 8 o'clock in the evening. The neighbor had supposedly come by to complain about Ms. Kovac's cat. Upon finding the body the neighbor called the police immediately. If you have saw or spoken to Miss Kovac within the past few days please contact police at once.

The headline story was about Cracked-Up Katie, or so the children of Echo Falls called the strange woman. She had lived in the Flats, the run down part of town, for years; a heavy smoker and druggy. Ingrid would have never expected to talk to or even meet the strange woman, yet somehow their lives had gotten tangled up when Ingrid had gotten lost on her way to soccer practice.

Ingrid Levin-Hill is a normal eighth grader with her own share of passions and problems. While being swamped by homework, soccer, and the lead role in the town play Alice in Wonderland, Ingrid would have never expected to have to solve the murder or Cracked-Up Katie. Unfortunately for Ingrid, on the fateful day when she decided to get lost on her way to soccer, she had left her red soccer pumas, flashing her name, in Cracked-Up Katie's house. Now she has to recover them and bring them home before the police come to question her, or worse take her for custody.

In this mystery story, Down the Rabbit Hole, it's up to Ingrid to save her shoes (and her identity), find Cracked-Up Katie's murderer, and put the case to rest. Dredging up information about Kate Kovac, she finds things she never would have expected. Katie had once been a brilliant actress and drama star, sharing Ingrid's passion, and heiress to a large fortune.
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