Orca Book Publishers

Browse by Category

Adult Fiction
Pages: 128
Themes: mystery, murder, romance, ambition
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/04/2012
Fry Reading Level: 2.8
Bookmark and Share
Nicole Patterson is a young, green and very eager probationary constable with the Ontario Provincial Police. Although she spends much of her time breaking up bar fights, giving out traffic tickets and finding lost kids, she dreams of one day becoming a detective.

Late one bitterly cold winter night, she comes across the body of a young woman lying on the edge of a snow-covered field on the outskirts of town. The girl appears to have been strangled. Nicole recognizes the victim as a local high school student with a somewhat sullied reputation, the daughter of the town drunk. Though both under-qualified and unauthorized, Nicole feels compelled to throw herself into the murder investigation.

Was the murdered girl really as promiscuous as her classmates described or the victim of bullying? What was her relationship with the star of the football team? And what is the significance of the ring with the large blue stone found near her body?

Is Nicole Patterson herself heading for trouble by pretending to be a detective?

Tri State YA Book Review Committee - September 1, 2012
"This quick read will grab the reader's attention from page one...As the case unfolds, the reader is drawn into the life of Nicole the investigator...A very satisfying read for reluctant readers."
Southwest Ohio Young Adult Material Review Group - May 24, 2012
"Intended as a hi-low option for adults this title could certainly be read and enjoyed by teens as well...Though the sentences are short...and the vocabulary simple, this is a very readable mystery which keeps the reader hooked as to the true murderer until very close to the end. This would be a useful purchase for schools and libraries where items are needed for students with low reading levels as well as ESL students."
CM Magazine - February 24, 2012
"A fast-paced, easy-to-read, contemporary story...Although plot driven, the story manages to touch on contemporary issues, like the casual cruelty of teenagers, dysfunctional families, teen pregnancy, and parental ambitions. Complete with a thoughtful and observant protagonist, a sympathetic victim, varied supporting characters, a snappy 'whodunit' plot, short, easy-to-read sentences (RL 2.8), some graphic yet realistic language, and enough detail to engage readers, this quick read fits the series well and should appeal to an audience accustomed to the pace of television crime dramas. Highly Recommended."


Arthur Ellis Award nominee  | 2013 | Short-listed
TriState YA Review Group Book of Note  | 2013 | Commended


Download teachers’ guide

Ebooks available from the following retailers:

Short, high-interest
novels for adults

Key Features:

Short, high-interest novels

Compelling characters

Reading levels: 2.0-4.5

Ideal for ESL and literacy programs

Teaching Resources:

Free Reading Guides


Paperback $9.95

Discounts Available for:






You might also be interested in: