Sabotage or Bad Luck? The Scent of Something Sneaky – by Gail Hedrick. Book Review.


Click on the picture of the cover for more information or to buy the book.




This 200 page chapter book is suitable for readers at the grade 4 to 8 level. In this mystery, 14-year-old Emily Saunders has gone to work at a bed and breakfast for the summer. With her friend Mary, the owner’s granddaughter, and a boy named Alex, they begin to suspect something is foul and not just the smell from the septic tank.

Mary’s grandmother, Gigi, is a widow trying to keep her establishment afloat but misfortune keeps happening. A guest trips on a loose board and falls, injuring his head. The beneficial bacteria in the septic tank dies making the entire area smell like a cesspool. Bees set up a hive in the attic and sting Alex. And then, a fire begins in the carriage house. How much bad luck can one woman have without sabotage being considered?

Finally, Emily is able to convince her friends, Mary and Alex, that something is going wrong. She suspects the creepy birdwatcher who keeps popping up in the oddest places. But how can the three of them find evidence and why would someone want to ruin Gigi’s business?

The suspense and the pace increase steadily throughout this well-written book. The teens are likable, believable, and brave. There are surprises and twists but nothing that doesn’t logically fit in the story. The plot holds together very well and when the mystery is solved, the reader will be satisfied.

The only thing I didn’t get was the significance of the cover. **Edited – The author was kind enough to explain in the comments. I should have got that!

This is a great book by Gail Hedrick for young people who enjoy reading about smart and courageous teens solving crimes.


A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.

The author will be interviewed on this on blog December 14, 2016.

Something Stinks will be reviewed on this blog on February 26, 2017.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

2 thoughts on “Sabotage or Bad Luck? The Scent of Something Sneaky – by Gail Hedrick. Book Review.

  1. Hi,The significance of the cover art is it’s a drawing of the cinnamon bear that figures so prominently in the story!. I’ll email you a couple photos from my iPad! It’s also a cute craft that the publisher and I debated about including as back matter-then we decided to leave it out. Love the review-and so very much appreciate your hard work,Gail GailHedrick Author Home (941)746-9703 Cell (941)720-5471**********The Scent of SomethingSneaky  (Tumblehome Learning, 2015)  Something Stinks! (Tumblehome Learning, 2013) 2014 NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book


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