Here’s a situation you don’t run across often in Children’s Literature: a 12-year-old murder suspect. In the first paragraph Dovey Coe, in her own words, informs us that she has been accused, and also that she is unequivocally innocent. Dovey is the audacious youngest child in a poor, proud, and loving family, living in the North Carolina hills in the summer of 1928. Dovey is none too happy when her beautiful older sister, who theoretically wants nothing more than to get out of the mountains and see the world, takes up with Parnell Caraway. Parnell, the arrogant and mean-spirited son of the town’s richest family, wants nothing more than to score the affections of the lovely Caroline. He seems determined to achieve his ends by all the means at his disposal: charm, material resources, psychological manipulation, and bulling threats. Dovey is in no way deceived, impressed, or intimidated by his slimy tactics, and is far from timid when it comes to expressing her opinion of the scoundrel, which does her no good when she found next to Parnell’s dead body. Although the first half of the narrative could be tighter, it will be easy to follow for middle-grade readers. Dovey’s voice is amusing, forthright and an utter delight to read. There is just a dash of romance for added appeal, but I wouldn’t classify this book as gender-specific. There are some moral issues with the ending, which could give a reader, or two, pause for thought. But isn’t that what all good fiction should do for its readers.