Vampires on the Run
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About the Author
C. M. Surrisi is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina. The Maypop Kidnapping is her first novel.
Eighth grader Quinnie Boyd looks forward to the last few days of school before summer vacation arrives in Maiden Rock, ME. Summer also brings her friend Ella's houseguests--horror writers Edgar and Ceil Waterman. Quinnie wonders if they really talk to vampires and why they walk the beach after dark. She starts surveilling them with the help of her new friend Dominic. Quinnie hopes to present evidence of vampire activity to her mother, a real estate agent cum sheriff cum mayor, even though she promised she wouldn't investigate anymore after her adventures in Surrisi's first 'Quinnie Boyd' mystery. During their work, Quinnie and friends notice a predatory coyote and a couple of tourists who seem far too friendly. Quinnie may not have all the answers, but a dramatic boating escape in rough waters brings the story to a satisfying resolution. This second outing doesn't suffer from the awkward stumbles that plague many follow-up novels. Surrisi creates characters with memorable personalities that come together in the detailed Maine setting. Unlike some fictional detectives, Quinnie doesn't solve the mystery so much as discover interesting clues, but that seems realistic given her age. Readers will enjoy the reveals as much as Quinnie does, though there are consequences for all of her midnight high jinks. The vampire plot adds to the book's appeal. VERDICT: A lively Maine mystery with spooky elements that kids will relish. The characters are a little older than the intended audience, but the story is suitable for a wide age range.--School Library Journal-- "Journal"
Espresso-drinking vampires in small-town Maine! What's not to love about that? A fast-paced page turner with just the right amount of spooky. C. M. Surrisi is a master of middle grade mystery.--Barbara O'Connor, award-winning author of How to Steal a Dog-- "Other Print"
Amateur sleuth and wild jumper-to-conclusions Quinnie Boyd is back in a second cozy mystery (The Maypop Kidnapping, 2016)--this time trying to determine if a pair of visiting horror writers are blood-sucking vampires. When best friend Ella's Aunt Ceil and Uncle Edgar Waterman arrive in Maiden Rock for a summer of writing, Quinnie's teacher suggests her three eighth graders compare their most famous book to Dracula. This assignment weaves throughout the book, fueling Quinnie's already overactive imagination, often with amusing results. The Watermans have thin white fingers, go out only at night, shroud mirrors, and, like their protagonist, Count Le Plasma, drive a Flying Spur. Strange events occur in the sleepy Maine town; Quinnie and her new friend, geeky Dominic, suspect the writers are vampires. Their investigation takes them to a middle-of-the-night rendezvous at the beach (yes, they get grounded) and causes them nearly to drown. While the vampire question ends rather anticlimactically, the kids expose an extortion scheme in a heart-pounding conclusion. Quinnie is a delightfully engaging narrator whose confusion about parents and boys rings true. When Dominic fake bites her neck with fangs, Quinnie optimistically considers that her first kiss. Races of the colorful cast of characters are unspecified, but there are no cues to indicate they are anything other than white. An unusual approach to vampires with shudders tempered by plenty of humor. Readers will happily welcome back Quinnie and the Maiden Rockers.--Kirkus Reviews-- "Journal"
From its quaint coastal setting, to its collection of quirky inhabitants and visitors, Surrisi sets her snare of mystery to a guaranteed surprising outcome. Once again, Quinnie and cohorts are relentlessly on the case!--Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor-award-winning author of One Crazy Summer-- "Other Print"
The prospect of a dull off-season in the 'boy-bleak' Maine resort town of Maiden Rock brightens considerably for amateur sleuth Quinnie Boyd with the simultaneous arrival of Dominic, teenage son of visiting marine biologists, and the Watermans--eerily pale family friends of her buddy Mariella ('They're a little strange.' 'They're just from Brooklyn'), who write best-selling vampire fiction. Glimpses of a shadowy doglike shape and a sudden spate of dead pets later, Quinnie is more than half convinced that the Watermans are themselves undead. As in Quinnie's previous caper, The Maypop Kidnapping (2016), Surrisi concocts a juicy small-town mystery out of tantalizing incidents and clues, red herrings, wild imaginings, thrillingly risky management (and mismanagement) of parental expectations, and plot twists that here range from literary legerdemain to a real bank robbery. Quinnie's present-tense account flies along to a scary (but tragedy-free) climax that delivers just deserts to all, while leaving her, inexplicably, not grounded for life. A comfy romp.--Booklist-- "Website"