Instant New York Times Bestseller!
“Knives Out feel by way of Lemony Snicket…This archly told, never muddled debut whodunit reveals a roster of distinct characters, a labyrinthine setting and plot, and a mystery that is as clever as its heroine.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The suspenseful denouement is positively writhing with twists.” —Booklist, starred review
On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match.
Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.
Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.
So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.
Deliciously suspenseful and delightfully clever, The Swifts is a remarkable debut that is both brilliantly contemporary and instantly classic. A celebration of words and individuality, it's packed with games, wordplay, and lots and lots of mischief as Shenanigan sets out to save her family and define herself in a world where definitions are so important.
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A gothic novel of corrosive values that's centered around a family reunion, Lincoln's manor-set murder mystery maintains a Knives Out feel by way of Lemony Snicket. As the story opens, scores of relatives are poised to descend upon Swift House for the event, which is also a family-wide hunt for the treasure hoard that Grand-Uncle Vile once secreted on the estate. Named fatefully from the Family Dictionary, dauntless 13-year-old Shenanigan longs to find the treasure, and keeps a list of the idiosyncratic home's possible hiding places, including suspicious paintings. She dreads the family gathering, but when an attempt is made on Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude's life, Shenanigan, frustrated with her adult relations' inadequate sleuthing, enlists the help of sister Phenomena and nonbinary cousin Erf. The initially whimsical story takes a darker tone as murders ensue and the family begins to close ranks, but crackling puns outpace the body count as this archly told, never muddled debut whodunit reveals a roster of distinct characters, a labyrinthine setting and plot, and a mystery that is as clever and impish as its heroine. The family's members have varying skin tones. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12.