“Family secrets, an unsolved bank robbery, summer on a lake, a treasure island and a first romance are the ingredients for this inviting middle-grade mystery…. A promising fiction debut.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Bullard has a good sense of family and community dynamic and articulates complex conflict and resolution with honesty and humor. Her characterizations breathe with life, and she paints the setting, all church-basement hot dishes, patriotic parades, and live-bait vending machines, with affectionate respect. With a warm narrative, careful plotting, actual danger, and the beginnings of romance, this adventure has something for everyone.” —Booklist
“[A] crackerjack plot keeps the excitement (and humor) flowing through a story of an old bank robbery, nefarious plots by jerks in high places, and the resilience of some hard-luck kids who make common cause and help each other when they need it most.” —StarTribune
"Along the way, this mystery not only sheds light on Trav’s past, but also involves friendships, first loves, and finding a place to belong. Through strong character development, Bullard is able to explore family dynamics in a way that is both relatable and informative. Fans of books like Shelia Turnage’s Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012) are sure to enjoy this suspenseful and heartwarming novel." —School Library Journal
“Debut author Ballard does a great job with this mystery, scattering some diverting red herrings here and there amidst the clues and providing a really authentic surprise solution at the end that caught me flat-footed. The mystery keeps the pages turning but the characters are what won my heart…. I can’t wait to booktalk this one. Readers looking for a fun mystery are in for a great puzzle and there’s a lot more to think about along the way.” —Bookends: A Booklist Blog
Visit my Turn Left at the Cow Pinterest board to see more reviews and clues to the mystery.
You can read more about how I made my way to write this story in this Twin Cities.com/ Pioneer Press article.