Saturday, March 16, 2013

Memories of Sea View Secret

Director of the annual Magna Cum Murder Conference, Kathryn Kennison, asked conference friends to write a few sentences about their favorite childhood book. Mine was "Sea View Secret," a short mystery by Elizabeth Kinsey. It features children who move to a new town and become friends with two children staying with (or maybe being raised by) an elderly aunt.The aunt is about to be evicted from the family home because she can no longer afford it.

My most vivid memory is of a large cast-iron stove that makes the house unbearably hot. And the mystery, of course, which the kids solve.

I have searched for this book many times.Thanks to Internet retailers, there are now a few copies available (which I won't buy for $40). My memories were confirmed, and I won't spoil the reading experience in case it is reissued and you can read it to children in your life.

What made the book so special? I believe it is because it depicts ordinary children who accomplish something important. They are not super heroes and do not have extraordinary resources. They use their wits.

A generation that likely can search the Internet by age four might not be impressed. It would be their loss.

(Update: My sister found this book for much less than $40, and it is now on my shelf!)
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