The Clue in the Trees

An Enchantment Lake Mystery

2019
Author:

Margi Preus

Winner: Midwest Booksellers Choice Award

 

Francie returns to Enchantment Lake looking for answers, only to get dragged into a murder mystery she might not survive

If Francie thinks things have settled down since her previous adventure Enchantment Lake, she’s in for a surprise. A new school with new friends (and some enemies), a lead role in a play, an encounter with a giant muskie, archaeological twists, secret tunnels, thin ice, and a strangely sticky murder are all coming her way in The Clue in the Trees

"Margi Preus delightfully captures the latest mystery and mayhem at Enchantment Lake through the eyes of fearless teenage detective Francie Frye. The quirky details of life in the north country add to the sometimes menacingly scary situations set in the remote woods. From the late-night chase scene through a giant muskie-shaped gift shop to the unnerving feeling of being watched by an unknown observer in the forest, the mystery unfolds with both humor and suspense. Francie, with her brains, bravery, and dying flashlight, is a detective for the ages." —Chris Monroe, author of the Monkey with a Tool Belt series

Francie’s brother Theo has secrets—secrets Francie thinks she wants to know. But what if one of those secrets is that Theo is a murderer? To avoid considering that possibility, Francie plunges into her senior year at a small-town high school near Enchantment Lake in northern Minnesota. It’s a radical change from her private school in New York, but she hopes to keep an eye on her great aunts and maybe finally learn more about the mother she never knew. A small silver box seems to hold the answers, and she is determined to get her hands on it.

But when her long-lost brother turns up, so does a dead body, and once again Francie is drawn into a mystery. A long list of suspects, with Theo at the top, keeps her head spinning. When Francie herself becomes a suspect she starts to feel like she is walking on thin ice, but it isn’t until she is literally walking on thin ice that the pieces start to come together—and by then it may be too late.

In her previous adventure Enchantment Lake, Francie was thrown into northern Minnesota lake living: fishing, berry picking, lost kayaks and scary boat rides, poisoned hotdishes, exploding bulldozers, a forest fire . . . and murder. But if she thinks things have settled down, she’s in for a surprise. A new school with new friends (and a few enemies), a lead role in a play, an encounter with a giant muskie, archaeological twists, secret tunnels, thin ice, and a strangely sticky murder are all coming her way in The Clue in the Trees.

Awards

Midwest Booksellers Choice Award

Margi Preus’s books for young readers have been honored with numerous awards, including a Newbery Honor and the Asian Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature. They have been ALA/ALSC Notables, featured on NPR, and translated into several languages. Margi often writes on the screen porch of her cabin overlooking a northern Minnesota lake not unlike Enchantment, and she spent many hours this past summer drifting in her kayak, pretending to look for a silver box on the lake bottom. When not lollygagging, she enjoys traveling, speaking, and visiting schools all over the world.

Margi Preus delightfully captures the latest mystery and mayhem at Enchantment Lake through the eyes of fearless teenage detective Francie Frye. The quirky details of life in the north country add to the sometimes menacingly scary situations set in the remote woods. From the late-night chase scene through a giant muskie-shaped gift shop to the unnerving feeling of being watched by an unknown observer in the forest, the mystery unfolds with both humor and suspense. Francie, with her brains, bravery, and dying flashlight, is a detective for the ages.

Chris Monroe, author of the Monkey with a Tool Belt series

A great book for a lazy afternoon: a nod to Nancy that serves up a modern version of the classic teen detective heroine.

Kirkus Reviews

This quick read is meant for a young bookworm cozying up in their northern Minnesota cabin.

Minnesota Monthly

A tight, fast-paced mystery. Curious teen readers will enjoy the ties to Greek drama, dragon bones, current events, and the actual heist of maple syrup from Canada’s strategic reserves.

VOYA Magazine

A fun, light murder mystery reminding me of a modern Nancy Drew.

Bookality

‘Clean reads’ for the young people in your life who enjoy a mystery.

Beth’s Nook-Book Blog

A fun, quirky story with a likable and colorful cast of characters and some unexpected twists and turns.

Never Too Many To Read

This was a fast-paced, cozy mystery book. I enjoyed this book it was fun and quick and with interesting characters and murder! What more could you want?

Haunted by Book 13

I'm invested and looking forward to Francie's next adventure.

Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books

It’s fast moving and a fun read!

The Critic Uncritical Bookworm

Fast enough to keep you wanting to read more.

Will Read Anything

An excellent book for middle-school aged readers looking for a bit of adventure and imagination.

Confessions of a Literary Junkie

Preus draws attention to broader issues such as Native rights, global warming, and crude oil pipelines. It is this attention to the political—and the necessity of sensitizing young people to these issues—that sets The Clue in the Trees apart from other young-adult murder mysteries.

The Corresponder

This is a fun, entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Book Lover’s Boudoir

I really enjoyed the goofy characters and snappy dialogue in ENCHANTMENT LAKE, and A CLUE IN THE TREES delivered on this as well.

The Story Sanctuary

As with the first book, Francie cannot help but be pulled into the mysteries of the lake and a new murder. However, Francie is torn between wanting to find the truth and protecting those she loves. More details about her past are revealed in this book, but the reader is still left hanging at the end of the book with many unanswered questions.



Jokes were made throughout the book of Francie not wanting to be compared to Nancy Drew; however, if the shoe fits... It is an accurate comparison of this modernized teenage detective. This is a book for those who like mystery with an touch of danger and suspense.

Compass Book Ratings

Contents


1. Something Is Not Right


2. Muskie Bait


3. At School


4. At Enchantment


5. An Unpleasant Surprise


6. Auditions


7. Ricing


8. The Silver Box


9. From Play Practice to Protest


10. The E.R.


11. Later the Same Day


12. Wind


13. Raven Is On to Francie


14. Trip to Enchantment


15. Theo Is Gone


16. Dragon Bone


17. Halloween


18. The Lie Detector


19. The Aquarium in the Wardrobe


20. 8 A.M.


21. Opening Night


22. Under Enchantment


23. Sleep at Last


24. Warm


25. The Situation


26. The Situation Gets Sticky


27. Thanksgiving Dinner


Author’s Note


Acknowledgments