The first book in the Shady Hollow series, in which we are introduced to the village of Shady Hollow, a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony–until a curmudgeonly toad turns up dead and the local reporter has to solve the case.
Reporter Vera Vixen is a relative newcomer to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she catches wind that the death might be a murder, she resolves to get to the bottom of the case, no matter where it leads. As she stirs up still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and discovers that additional lives are in jeopardy.
Vera finds more to this town than she ever suspected. It seems someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder, and soon it will take all of Vera’s cunning and quickness to crack the case.
This book was absolutely adorable – or I guess as adorable as a murder mystery can get, which in this case is pretty darn adorable. Shady Hollow seems like a wonderful village to live in, with a bookstore named Nevermore owned by a raven named Lenore, a moose named Joe who runs the local coffee shop, and of course Vera Vixen, the reporter with a nose for news…and solving mysteries.
Shady Hollow is a sweet little woodland town, usually a sleepy little woodland town as well. But when the grumpy toad Otto Stumpf is found dead in the water, it sets the town a buzz. At first it is thought that he died accidentally, but circumstances and evidence soon begin to point to murder – you know, like that knife found in his back when they pull him from the water. But who did it? And why? Otto’s murder kicks off a series of events, revealing new mysteries and secrets and even more danger, especially for Vera who is hot on the case.
I loved this book. I love books with animals, although honestly I was a little overloaded this time around as I am also reading Wind in the Willows and a Heartwood Hotel book aloud with Wyatt – so many animals who talk and wear clothes and live like people! However, I enjoyed escaping into the world of Shady Hollow in my own free time, and I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series, Cold Clay, which I have on my list for autumn!
5 thoughts on “Book Review: Shady Hollow by Juneau Black”
You’ve had read so many delightful middle grade books lately! This sounds wonderful too and another one I want to add to my TBR.
PS I saw your question on my comment about what science curriculum we use. The botany/zoology is a class Will’s going to take through our cover school but in the past we’ve used Real Science Odyssey from Pandia Press and I’ve liked it. They have a few different options and its secular which we liked.
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This one is actually an adult book masquerading as a middle grade! Lol. It definitely gives that impression though. It was really good!
Oo I looked at that one!! If we get tired of Blossom and Root next year maybe I will switch over. Or switch back and forth throughout the year. Hmm. We are actually using History Quest from Pandia Press this upcoming year and I am super excited about it.
Thank you for the review. this is one that I saw on that Cottage Fairy (or whatever she is called) YouTube Channel and thought sounded interesting. I hope to check it out soon!
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It’s such a cute one. It is really a light and easy type read too.
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