Nooks & Crannies Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook: 7 hours, 27 minutes
Read by Susie Riddell

These days, family road trips tend to divide families, with the kids watching movies in the backseat while the grown-ups do their own thing up front. But those hours in the car can be a great time for a shared experience—like listening to the audio version of Jessica Lawson’s kid-friendly mystery, Nooks & Crannies.

The story follows 11-year-old Tabitha Crum on an unexpected adventure. One afternoon at school in the winter of 1906, Tabitha receives a letter of the utmost importance. When she brings it home to her cold, uncaring parents, she finds them packing their bags, planning to move away and leave Tabitha at a nearby orphanage. But when they open the letter, they find that they’ve been invited to spend the weekend as the guests of the reclusive Countess Camilla DeMoss. Too intrigued to turn it down, the Crums delay their trip—and Tabitha soon finds herself in the middle of a mystery that seems to be straight out of one of her favorite detective novels.

For those who grew up reading the quirky tales of Roald Dahl, Nooks & Crannies will feel pleasingly familiar. It’s smart and surprising, with a delightfully dark sense of humor. But while the set-up may remind you of Dahl’s beloved classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—complete with despicable young characters and a enigmatic host—you’ll soon discover that Camilla DeMoss is no Willy Wonka, and her (possibly haunted) mansion is definitely no chocolate factory.

Tabitha, however, is a wonderful character—a timid loner whose self-centered parents resent and generally ignore her, so her life revolves around detective novels and her pet mouse, Pemberley, who doubles as her loyal sidekick. She’s an inquisitive little girl, which tends to get her into trouble. But while you may cringe at some of the inappropriate questions that she tends to ask, you’ll love her because she’s the only one who’s clever enough to take a step back and examine the situation.

From the beginning, Tabitha senses that something’s not quite right about the Countess and her story—and as children go missing and secrets are revealed, the story becomes all the more surprising. It’s all a little bit eerie—complete with rumors of murder and ghosts—but it’s also an action-packed mystery that’s sure to entertain readers of all ages.

If you’re heading out on a family road trip, be sure to pick up a copy of Nooks & Crannies first. Parents will appreciate the Roald Dahl-ness of it, and kids will enjoy following the quirky characters as they search for clues to this creepy mystery.

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