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Dead Ball Foul: A Silver Dagger Mystery - Young Reader Edition [Paperback]

Kayla McGrady
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 1 2000
Teenager Tricia Lakely and her friends live in a quiet town in Southwest Virginia, where the only excitement comes from the high school football games. Their world turns upside down, however, when a referee is murdered and Tricia’s friend, Aaron, becomes the prime suspect.

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Product Description

From the Author

Good mystery writers come in all sizes, ages, and packages -- and sometimes younger writers come up with a story that makes even veteran writers sit up and take notice. Such is the case of 16 year old Kayla McGrady, a junior this year at Gate City High School, Gate City, Virginia.

Kayla is one of the world's biggest dreamers, but one dream has lasted throughout her entire life, standing more prominently than all others, is the dream to write. She remembers writing stories ever since she was old enough to spell the words. The first one was a fully illustrated fantasy which she wrote early in second grade. Now Kayla is turning to mysteries with her first novel, Dead Ball Foul, scheduled to be published in September 2000 by the Overmountain Press. (A mystery for young adults written by a young adult. What a NOVEL idea!)

Kayla's other loves include singing, art, and (of course) her family, friends, and pets. She lives on a farm with two dogs, a cat, a horse, a rooster, a hamster, several fish, her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. All manage to co-exist in a tiny valley lost somewhere deep within the Scott County hinterlands, near the Tennessee border.

From the Inside Flap

"In a refreshing debut mystery for young adults, Kayla McGrady amply demonstrates her expertise at following the dictum "Write what you know about." While she may not know about murder at her tender age, she certainly knows about high-school life and high-school students in Virginia. Her heroine, Tricia Lakely, is a likeable young woman with a take-charge attitude learned from her widowed mother. When two murders occur in Tricia's orbit, she recruits three of her friends to assist her, but it is Tricia who solves the crimes without relying on others. Kidnapped by the killer, Tricia is the one to save herself and her friend Luke, and it is Tricia who disables the killer, instead of relying on adults to rescue her. Let's hope Kayla McGrady has more of these well-written adventures in mind for Tricia."

Linda Hutton, Hutton Publications and member of Sisters in Crime, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and Women in the Arts


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe a 16 yar old wrote this Aug. 8 2000
Format:Paperback
Like many small American towns, Judsonville, Virginia is obsessed with football. This year everyone looks especially forward to the annual Homecoming game when the local high school team plays its' arch rival Jackson.

The anticipated event is tarnished when someone kills a referee. The police lean towards a student Aaron as the prime suspect. Aaron's pal Tricia believes he could not murder anyone and teaming up with her boyfriend Luke sets off to prove she is right. Neither Tricia nor Luke realizes how much danger their investigation places them in, as a killer wants to remain anonymous.

DEAD BALL FOUL is clearly a young adult novel that will surprise other mystery readers with how good the plot is. Judsonville seems like a real place and the lead couple and support cast makes the small town feel even more genuine. Younger than the careers of many favorite authors, high school senior Kayla McGrady debuts with a wonderful who-done-it that will take the sub-genre by storm. Additionally, the well written novel will stun those older readers with its fabulous story line and deep rooted characterizations.

Harriet Klausner
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4.0 out of 5 stars Umm, it was interesting Nov. 8 2001
By stoltze
Format:Paperback
When it says that these books are written for a juvenile by a juvenile, they mean it. If I'd been about 9, it would probably have been a good read, but I would not recommend this for anyone over the age of 12. Some of the ways that the clues all just 'fell together' seemed a bit far fetched at times, and did hold me back some from really getting into the story. The ending was so straight from an action movie that it made me quirk my eyebrows in slight disbelief. However, it had a fast-paced and easy to follow plot, with likable characters. There were rich descriptions, though sometimes they tended to get a little wordy. This wouldn't be a book that I would buy for a kid, but I would encourage him to at least check it out of the library. Overall, it was an fairly enjoyable book, but I would only recommend reading it once.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a BIG mystery! Nov. 1 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
What is the skinny on Dead Ball Foul? There is no skinny in the world of Kayla McGrady, since she has laced the tale with layer upon layer of cake-like mystery. You will wonder whodunit all the way to the last satisfying page. This book is thick, full of hugely real characters who will have you hungering for more as you chuckle a happy tune. There is no fudging in Judsonville, not with superstar know-it-all Tricia Lakely on the case. Is this girl real? I'd love to meat her. You'll eat this up, if she doesn't first.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not worth my time June 30 2003
Format:Paperback
i read this god forsaken book to my son, and by the end of the first chapter he successfully guessed every plot twist and the ending. this wouldn't have been too bad, if only he was older than 6. as a reader myself i cannot even dream of recommending this foul bit to anyone even to those younger than 12. I will give it two stars however, for being a first try. if the book had impressed me more i might look into the next one she writes but i don't think i'll be doing that. bottom line, stick to the classics.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe a 16 yar old wrote this Aug. 8 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Like many small American towns, Judsonville, Virginia is obsessed with football. This year everyone looks especially forward to the annual Homecoming game when the local high school team plays its' arch rival Jackson.

The anticipated event is tarnished when someone kills a referee. The police lean towards a student Aaron as the prime suspect. Aaron's pal Tricia believes he could not murder anyone and teaming up with her boyfriend Luke sets off to prove she is right. Neither Tricia nor Luke realizes how much danger their investigation places them in, as a killer wants to remain anonymous.

DEAD BALL FOUL is clearly a young adult novel that will surprise other mystery readers with how good the plot is. Judsonville seems like a real place and the lead couple and support cast makes the small town feel even more genuine. Younger than the careers of many favorite authors, high school senior Kayla McGrady debuts with a wonderful who-done-it that will take the sub-genre by storm. Additionally, the well written novel will stun those older readers with its fabulous story line and deep rooted characterizations.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Umm, it was interesting Nov. 8 2001
By stoltze - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When it says that these books are written for a juvenile by a juvenile, they mean it. If I'd been about 9, it would probably have been a good read, but I would not recommend this for anyone over the age of 12. Some of the ways that the clues all just 'fell together' seemed a bit far fetched at times, and did hold me back some from really getting into the story. The ending was so straight from an action movie that it made me quirk my eyebrows in slight disbelief. However, it had a fast-paced and easy to follow plot, with likable characters. There were rich descriptions, though sometimes they tended to get a little wordy. This wouldn't be a book that I would buy for a kid, but I would encourage him to at least check it out of the library. Overall, it was an fairly enjoyable book, but I would only recommend reading it once.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a BIG mystery! Nov. 1 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What is the skinny on Dead Ball Foul? There is no skinny in the world of Kayla McGrady, since she has laced the tale with layer upon layer of cake-like mystery. You will wonder whodunit all the way to the last satisfying page. This book is thick, full of hugely real characters who will have you hungering for more as you chuckle a happy tune. There is no fudging in Judsonville, not with superstar know-it-all Tricia Lakely on the case. [...]
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not worth my time June 30 2003
By steve darsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
i read this god forsaken book to my son, and by the end of the first chapter he successfully guessed every plot twist and the ending. this wouldn't have been too bad, if only he was older than 6. as a reader myself i cannot even dream of recommending this foul bit to anyone even to those younger than 12. I will give it two stars however, for being a first try. if the book had impressed me more i might look into the next one she writes but i don't think i'll be doing that. bottom line, stick to the classics.
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