Abrahams, P. (2005). Down the rabbit hole. New York, NY: Laura Geringer Books.
This is the first book in a mystery series for tweens called the Echo Falls Mysteries. The title is Alice in Wonderland inspired as the main character Ingrid gets the part of Alice in a play at the local theater. The book begins with Ingrid at a dentist appointment and realizing she is going to be late for soccer practice. She decides to run to practice so that she doesn’t miss the whole practice and get benched for the next game. She gets lost and a local resident known as Crazy Kate calls her a cab so she can get to practice. The next day she discovers that Kate has been murdered and she left her soccer cleats at the murder scene. She is too afraid to tell anyone she was at Kate’s house so she breaks in to take back her cleats and becomes more deeply involved in the mystery. Afraid of being blamed for Kate’s murder Ingrid decides she has to solve the mystery herself before anyone finds out she was there that day. She is able to unravel Kate’s mysterious past and connect it to the local play company where she is currently starring as Alice. Further she discovers that the murderer is one of her costars leading to an intense ending when she catches him digging up another body. He hears her and chases her into the river attempting to drown her. Ingrid survives but the murderer goes over the falls and dies. This makes the story a bit dark for younger tweens and the suggested age range for the book is age 10-14. The story is interesting as it has some good twists in the plot and deals with some more mature themes. For example it is not confirmed in the book but is highly suggested that Ingrid’s older brother is abusing steroids. He has a short temper even hitting Ingrid in one scene as well as other clues like his suddenly developing acne on his back. This is also a longer book that may intimidate reluctant readers so it is best suited for more advanced readers.