Reviews for Rescuing Seneca Crane

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
Runholt follows The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (2008) with another art-themed whodunit starring intrepid 14-year-old amateur sleuths Kari and Lucas. This time, the girls travel with Kari's journalist mother to Scotland, where they meet and befriend Seneca, a teenage piano prodigy, just before she is kidnapped. Following instincts and clues, the girls tour through cities, moors, and castles in search of the young pianist. Readers will suspect the criminals' identities long before they are caught, but as in Lucretia, Kari's spirited first-person voice, the girls' friendship, and the colorful, well-developed characters and setting make for an enjoyable, nuanced mystery. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
The teen-girl detectives from The Mystery of the Third Lucretia are back. This time, best friends Kari and Lucas are hot on the trail of a piano prodigy kidnapped during her Edinburgh Festival premiere. Too many details lead to some draggy patches, but the story's mix of friendship, adventure, and mystery will keep readers turning pages. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 June #2
Adventure compels despite a slow start with too much exposition as the two girl detectives from The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (2008) leave the art world behind and befriend a classical pianist, Seneca Crane, at the start of her concert career. Explanations about the previous episode, home backgrounds and preferred slang of the two is necessary to orient readers but drags on too long. The action starts in Edinburgh, where, at a music festival, Kari and Lucas find the teen virtuoso both awe-inspiring and pitiable for the lack of normalcy in her life--but that's before she's kidnapped. As events get rolling, the girls' attempts to foil the kidnappers and rescue Seneca keep the pages turning. These girls are newly discovering the appeal of the male sex, which supplies much of the humor. It's all more than a bit unrealistic, as much of their independence is based on their free use of a wealthy, indulgent parent's credit card. While the mystery will puzzle no one, the clues and the choice of rescue plans are both eminently logical. Tepid fair for fans of safe mysteries. (Mystery. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 August

Gr 5-8--Runholt's second mystery starring 14-year-old best friends Kari and Lucas offers readers light intrigue in a lush Scottish setting. When Kari's mother, a magazine reporter, is sent to Edinburgh to interview Seneca Crane, a 15-year-old piano prodigy, the girls get to tag along. Upon meeting Seneca, they realize that the young pianist is not only talented, but also very lonely. She is under the constant tutelage of her mother, stepfather, and overbearing tutor. The three girls quickly become friends despite Seneca's hectic rehearsal schedule. When she is kidnapped after a performance, Kari and Lucas sidestep some shady characters and supersleuth their way to a daring rescue. Readers will admire the girls' independence and tenacity, even if Kari's narrative voice is a bit silly at times. (She uses the word "meep" as a substitution for foul language.) Reluctant readers will enjoy the pacing, which neither rushes the mystery nor drags out the clues. The author skillfully weaves facts about Scottish culture and geography into the narrative while the rainy Highlands setting offers a bit of drama to a somewhat tame mystery.--Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Rockaway Township Public Library, NJ

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VOYA Reviews 2009 December
Female teenage sleuths Kari and her best friend Lucas, who solved their first case in The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Viking, 2008/VOYA April 2008) are back to unravel another baffling crime. While traveling through Scotland, the pair befriend fifteen-year-old piano prodigy, Seneca Crane. Following Seneca's opening performance at the Edinburgh Festival, Kari and Lucas go backstage to congratulate her but find only Seneca's stunned mother, stepfather, and personal tutor who inform the girls that Seneca has been kidnapped. Never the type to wait around for instructions, Kari and Lucas leap into action on their own. After gathering clues from a three-year-old boy who secretly witnessed the kidnapping, the girls travel across Scotland to a foreboding castle that they believe holds the key to Seneca's whereabouts and the secret to who is behind her disappearance. The real draw here for the target audience of young teen girls will likely be less about the story's suspense and more about the clever teamwork of Kari and Lucas. The mystery is enjoyable, but the list of suspects is relatively short. Many readers may have a good idea of whodunit long before the heroines put their daring rescue scheme into motion. The thoughtful descriptions of the Scottish landscape and gripping writing that brings to life moments like the terrifying storm rolling in over the Scottish hills as the girls rush toward the tale's climax will grab readers' attention and leave them waiting anxiously for the next Kari and Lucas adventure.--Paula Brehm-Heeger 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.