Who Stole New Year's Eve?

“Who Stole New Year’s Eve?” has what I think is the best first line of any of my books:

“The first time I ever saw Eve Henry, I was holding a chocolate cream pie.”

That’s Alex Parakeet talking. Along with his friends Sophie and Yasmeen, and his cat, Luau, the 11-year-old has earned a reputation as a detective. He doesn’t yet know it when he meets new neighbor Eve Henry – and delivers a chocolate cream pie to her family -- but he is about to be presented with a new mystery, the most puzzling one yet.

“Who Stole New Year’s Eve?” is the fifth Chickadee Court book. The idea for this one began to germinate when my friend Becky Collins, librarian at Park Forest Elementary School, mentioned that her students feel left out on New Year’s Eve. I might not be able to solve that problem in real life, I thought. But I can solve it in a book – and so I did.

All the Chickadee Court books are set in College Springs, a fictional small town with a big university. I never know exactly where my zany plots come from, but they are inspired by what’s around me, and for 18 years I lived in State College, Pennsylvania, a town not unlike College Springs.

My books are characterized by slapstick, twists, turns and surprises. So you can pretty much expect those in “New Year’s Eve.” Along the way you’ll also find an Ice Carnival, a spooky, unfinished house, a costume pet parade (with prizes!), a fluffy white dog named Marshmallow, a technology-challenged teleconference, competing college professors, an explosive chemical reaction, a tight-knit neighborhood, and plenty of delicious pies.

And speaking of pies, you know what The Three Stooges said about a cream pie in the first chapter, right? It has to be thrown at someone in the last! If you want to find out who stole New Year’s Eve – and who gets hit with a pie – there’s one way to find out: Read “Who Stole New Year’s Eve?”

Published on by Martha Freeman.