An old photo brings a shocking revelation and it’s up to Emily and her best friend Olivia to solve the case!
Fourteen-year-old Emily O’Reilly and her best friend Olivia Webster have a knack for solving mysteries. Emily has been busily training her new puppy Sherlock to be a Search and Rescue dog so that the two can lead search-and-rescue missions someday. So when Emily stumbles across an old photo of Olivia’s adoption day—a fact that has never been revealed to Olivia—the two quickly decide to uncover the mysterious details surrounding Olivia’s birth parents.
But the two bite off more than they can chew as they dig into learning more about Olivia’s adoption without notifying her parents. And to make matters worse, Emily’s mother Marika, a convicted felon recently released on parole, will stop at nothing to contact her daughter—a fact that Emily is not happy about.
When her beloved stepmother Naomi disappears, Emily takes it upon herself to connect the dots and conduct her own snow-bound search-and-rescue mission with Sherlock. Will Emily ever find the secret behind Naomi’s disappearance? And will Olivia ever learn the truth about her adopted parents?
“Colleen is a master storyteller.” –Karen Kingsbury
Meets national education standards.
Eighth-grader Emily O'Reilly had "means, motive, and opportunity" to steal Mrs. Dancer's sapphire necklace, says Sheriff Kaleva; maybe, but Emily didn't take it. All she wants is to become a search-and-rescue operator like her stepmother, Naomi, and her idol, Bree. Since everyone except her best friend Olivia thinks Emily stole the necklace, she has to clear her name, and to do that, she must find the real culprit. So begins the first book in a series for middle-grade readers based on bestseller Coble's Rock Harbor series for adults. Told in third person from Emily's point of view with a great deal of realistic, though sometimes dull, dialogue, the story is a briskly paced whodunit steeped in middle-school girl drama. The setting is Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and the authors do a fine job of juggling a large cast. Some readers might wish for more polished prose or a dose of levity, but most will relate to the seriousness with which Emily takes herself, her faith, and her empathy. Ages 9 12.