“The Girl From Felony Bay” by J.E. Thompson; HarperCollins, $16.99.

A South Carolina author has written a thrilling mystery with an interesting setting – South Carolina low country sea islands.

Abbey Force, 11, has had a terrible year: Her father, a lawyer, is in a coma in the hospital after an accident that also saw him accused of a jewelry theft from a wealthy elderly client. The Reward Plantation that had been in their family for generations had to be sold. Plus Abbey (whose mother died of cancer years before) now has to live with her father’s nasty brother Charles and his wife, Ruth. And transfer to a new school.

But then she meets Bee, daughter of the new owner of Reward Plantation, and Bee has troubles of her own. The girls’ explorations of nearby Felony Bay turn up a mystery: Who has bought the property and put up No Trespassing Signs and why are they digging huge holes on the beach?

This nifty mystery has lots of surprise twists and turns and a fascinating setting, complete with poisonous snakes and a giant alligator named Green Lucy.

– Jean Westmoore


Do you like to sing? Theatre of Youth will be holding auditions for its 2013 holiday musical at 5 p.m. Monday in the Allendale Theatre, 203 Allen St. TOY is looking for 12 girls between the ages of 9 and 12 with some acting and singing experience. Parents can call 884-4400, Ext. 304, between 5 and 6 p.m. today to make an appointment. For more information, visit


Why did the American Revolution begin in Massachusetts? For more than a decade, tensions between Great Britain and the American Colonies ran high. The British had passed a series of laws to increase their control over the Colonies. Colonies protested these laws, particularly in Massachusetts. To punish the colony, the British refused to let Massachusetts rule itself. Instead, the king sent royal governors to run the colony. In 1775, Britain declared Massachusetts (particularly Boston) to be in rebellion. The British sent troops to put down the “revolt.”

– Time Big Book of Why