Wilma Tenderfoot

Wilma Tenderfoot

The Case of the Frozen Hearts

Book - 2011
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Wilma Tenderfoot, a ten-year-old orphan who lives at Cooper Island's Lowside Institute for Woeful Children, dreams of escape and of becoming the apprentice of the world-famous detective Theodore P. Goodman, whose every case she follows devotedly in the newspaper.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011
ISBN: 9780803735408
0803735405
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 20 cm

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Cleveland Youth Services Recommends May 14, 2014

Great book for the 2014 Summer Reading Club!

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

"The fact that Mrs. Speckle was a widow and that the Inspector had had a soft spot for her for over ten years is nothing to concern us here. This isn't a story about sappy romance, it's a story about murder and stealing, so don't give that piece of information a second thought."

This was a fun little mystery about Wilma, a scrawny ten-year-old orphan who has spent her entire life at the Cooper Island Lowside Institute for Woeful Children idolizing the island's most famous and accomplished detective, Theodore P. Goodman, in the hopes of someday becoming a successful detective herself so she can solve the mystery of her unknown parents. Then, one day, she is assigned a job as the live-in servant of a well-to-do woman who happens to live right next door to Mr. Goodman. She enthusiastically invites herself along for his investigation into a jewel theft and murder case, where she is both a clumsy, innocent, endearing annoyance and an occasional help. Despite Goodman's repeated warnings, Wilma is so desperate to impress him in the hopes of becoming his apprentice that she continuously meddles in the affairs of some very bad men (ex: Everyone who ever met him hated him, even nuns. And they like everyone. That's how bad he was.). Will she succeed in helping to find the culprit behind the missing gem or end up as just another corpse with a frozen heart?

My one big complaint about this book was the uneven tone; it felt like Kennedy couldn't decide if she was writing an exaggerated comedy with absurd, caricatured characters and humorous commentary or a deadly serious mystery with heavy themes and well-developed characters. I enjoyed each of these aspects in their turns, but when meshed together into a whole they felt jarringly discordant. I wasn't sure if I should be laughing with a amusement or tensed with worry. Still, it's the promising start of an interesting-looking new series.

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JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Most grown-ups are never happier than when they have someone to look down on, and the Cooper Island Farsiders couldn't have been more delighted that they had the Cooper Lowsiders to despise. As long as the Farsiders had their immediate neighbors to oppress, they were saved the exacting inconvenience of recognizing their own shortcomings.

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