After Frame and her brother, Ranger, discover Uncle Tam’s body in the river, they wonder if his death was really an accident. Their suspicions are confirmed when they find a knife under a rock. Clues mount up after they discover that their neighbour, Mr. McGuire, is mistreating Uncle Tam’s dog, Sandy.
Frame and her brother, Ranger, discover the body of Uncle Tam in the flooded waters of a nearby stream. When they learn that he was stabbed, not drowned, they begin investigating. Is Tam’s murder connected to a recent burglary? Where is his dog, Sandy? Could Sandy’s disappearance be connected to The McGuire’s new dog? The McGuire is the one neighbor Frame does not like: he is big and shouts a lot. As the police investigate, the normally trusting neighbors in their rural Vancouver Island community lose their sense of safety and trust. Meanwhile, Frame’s sister, Bird, and her new boyfriend visit from college. Frame misses the closeness she shared with Bird before she moved to Victoria. The plot moves confidently, with a straightforward tone and simple details reminiscent of Hemingway. Quiet, shy Frame leads a well-crafted cast of characters and makes a sympathetic heroine. With its slim size, slightly large font, and unadorned vocabulary, the story will appeal to both strong and struggling readers, though the painterly cover may require hand-selling.
Suzanne Harold – booklistonline.com
Fifth-grader Frame is thrown into a sharp learning curve after she and her brother, Ranger, discover family friend Uncle Tam’s dead body in a river.
— Kirkus Review – Feb 2016