CLOSED FOR THE SEASON by Mary Downing Hahn

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Logan was kind of excited about moving to a new city.  He would have a chance to escape his reputation as a nerdy bookworm and start afresh with the popular crowd.  The minute he moves in, however, his hopes begin to sink.  For one thing, the house his family is moving into is in a horrible state of disrepair.  For another, waiting to meet him is his new next door neighbor, a very friendly and pushy boy named Arthur who seems to be exactly the type of nerdy bookworm that Logan wants to avoid.  But when Arthur announces that a woman was murdered in Logan’s new house, Logan’s previous worries are quickly overshadowed as he gets swept up in a macabre and potentially dangerous mystery.  As the clues keep leading to a creepy old run-down amusement park and a possible hidden treasure that pits the young amateur sleuths against despicable, violent thugs, Logan wonders if he has the courage to see the case through to its conclusion.

Although different from Mary Downing Hahn’s usual ghost stories, Closed for the Season has plenty of creepy scenes and suspense to entertain middle grade readers who enjoy thrillers and mysteries.  The mystery unfolded fairly predictably, but suspense was built up in the setting of the scenes and the crafting of villains who were neck in neck with the heroes in their race to uncover the secret. I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to mystery readers in grades 4-6.

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