Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Disappearance of Katharina Linden

This wonderful book by Helen Grant begins on an alarming note - Pia's granny explodes. I won't tell you all the details, but it involves a lot of hairspray, a box of matches and an Advent Crown.
Instead of getting support from her school friends, eleven year old Pia becomes ostracized as her former school mates think the 'exploding granny' situation could be catching.
Pia lives in a seemingly charming German town called Bad Munstereiffel and town life is vividly and sharply conveyed. However. things are not as they seem when one girl, then another disappear from Pia's school.
Pia and her new found friend, nicknamed Stink Stefan, try to solve the mystery.
There is much suspense and drama in this teenage novel, especially towards the end, but there is also great humour.
Take Pia's relationship with her English cousins, for instance. The misunderstandings they have with the nuances of the German and English language are a joy to read.
There is so much to like about this novel; I was captivated by the character of Pia and didn't want the book to end.


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