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The Dead Kid Detective Agency is a witty introduction into a series for middle grade readers. While the book does have a few problems it is still an enjoyable read. However, I think it is best suited for older middle grade readers. It is quirky and funny and October and the dead kids are like able characters. It will be fun to see where the series goes from here.

View all 4 comments. Mar 18, Beka rated it it was ok. Though the concept was interesting enough, this whole book felt like slogging through mud. It took much longer than it should have to read just because there was so much verbage to wade through. Also, though the author tried making the protagonist an underdog to root for emphasizing multiple times that she's misunderstood, slightly overweight, a 13 year old starting high school, missing mother, depressed father, etc. I will NOT be reading any of the sequels. Feb 22, colleen the convivial curmudgeon rated it it was ok Shelves: whodunit-supernatural , middle-grade.

Actually, I just thought it was cool it was set in Canada, 'cause so few fantasy type books seems to be. Well, at least the ones I've read. But I just never really connected with any of the characters much, and the mystery itself was pretty eh. It kinda seemed to be more about October and her weirdness and school and mean girls and stuff - all 2.

It kinda seemed to be more about October and her weirdness and school and mean girls and stuff - all of which was handled fairly well, but none of which was all that great.

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Also, it was bugging me that it kept changing from first-person narrative to third-person limited. About halfway through, or more, the third-person becomes sort of relevant in that we follow the dead kids instead of October, but for most of the book both the first-person and third-person parts solely follow October, so it just seemed pointless much of the time. Also, the voices of the two narratives were very similar.

Both sort of addressed the audience and tried to be witty in the same way - though the third-person narrative was more direct about it. Then there were some chapters from the diary of Henri someone, and while it does become relevant to the story, it was kind of weirdly thrown in in random places. And it also stopped somewhere like midway through the story, instead of continuing through the end - though the end is where it would've fit more and I actually would've liked that bit to be fleshed out more. All in all a sort of decent read, but nothing to write home about.

I doubt I'll continue the series. Younger kids might like it - if they're not distracted by the author's attempt to use hip and cool vernacular that has probably long gone out of fashion by now. It sounded more like the way I talked in high school - almost 20 years ago - than how I hear my niece speak nowadays. Dec 18, Emily rated it liked it. This book was good. The beginning was boring because it just talks about her school. At the part where the teacher dies it gets better because October is trying to find out who did it and why. I kept reading because I was curious to find out.

I liked the charaters too. My favourite was Stacey because he would stand up for October when Ashley was mean to her. This book was great and I could not put it down! View 2 comments. Sep 01, Sarah rated it liked it Shelves: canlit , mystery-suspense , paranormal. I liked the links to Canada and Canadian history; we don't see that enough, but there were too many clues and red herrings - it was kind of like October's book. I also wasn't sure about the intrusive narrator. I think I would have preferred one point of view.

View 1 comment. Aug 19, K rated it it was ok Shelves: mystery , modern. And well Which is a shame because the mystery was one of my bigger issues with the book. But I'm getting ahead of myself, obligatory summary thing is always first and foremost! Obligatory Summary-ish Thing: We have the wannabe-author, occasionally plucky, goth protagonist, October Schwartz.

Her father, the depressed chemistry teacher still mourning his runaway wife. Together they move to Sticksville and get tangled up with mean girls, a zombie tramp and boy with a girl's name, an overly nice, horror-loving, French teacher, and the death or rather murder of said French teacher. Oh and minor detail, the ghosts of dead kids like to put on plays in the cemetery behind October's house. With all that I thought it had potential, and the first chapter geared me up for some humourous narration to boot.

And then I got to the next chapter and suddenly 'October said' was replaced with 'I said' and I this 'I' being me was suddenly confused. Now I love some good POV swaps, when it is done right. Now I think I know why. While neither was terrible, the narrator which slowly ran out of humour steam was still superior and made me wish the author had stuck to that. While October's voice was not terrible, it was fairly similar to the narrator with most of the over-the-top-ness stripped out. Not helping matters was that it went on to alternate between these two for the rest of the book.

Also, pop culture references are all well and good but if you could keep them to a minimum in my book, that would be much appreciated. Strike number one, the POV switches.

The Dead Kid Detective Agency

I was willing to overlook the ever so slightly jarring third person-first person jumps if the story was worth it. Like the narration, it started out promising. We get October, a few tidbits about a missing mother, see creepy-yet-comforting-to-October cemetery front and central, and a whacky school. And then we get more of the foremost and latter and none of the middle. I was interested in reading about a murder mystery, not so much October dealing with highschool, friends who aren't really friends, and mean girls.

But that is actually the majority of the book save for a few bumbling ghost interludes. I have a special place in my heart for school dramas, it sits right beside boiled spinach and Shakespeare essay alright, so it isn't that bad. I mean it's still above sappy love triangles. I can add that as a pro for this book, almost zero romance. Strike two, too much school, too little murderous murders and interesting detective ghosts. All things considered though, the school drama wasn't appalling and I was willing to wade through it in order to sink my teeth into a good mystery.

Connect the Scotts (The Dead Kid Detective Agency) | CM: Canadian Review of Materials

There was just one problem, what mystery? Alright so the obviously-so-nice French teacher gets crushed by his car in the school auto shop. October is sad. Police say accident, some teachers say suicide. October instantly changes her mind to murder. There isn't a real reason why except for the 'he would never kill himself' which I assume is why the Police said it was an accident. Okay, so there is 'how did he get in without a key? Perfect, why don't you find some more evidence now? Just going to get mad at teachers, let mean girls verbally abuse you, and occasionally order around some ghosts to 'snoop' for you?

So she has two in real life who are pretty nice, but she isn't really nice to them. Then there are the ghost kids, who she does nothing but order around for the few minutes a night she spends with them. I honestly have no idea why they keep helping her out after all she does is complain about the murder and try bribing them with board games.

They aren't overly nice to her either. Somehow they are all super-duper-bestie-friendies at the end though. Go figure. Which basically consists of October going to school and randomly picking new 'suspects' while the dead kids bust up houses at night for 'proof'. I have to assume they were part comic relief, part making up for October's lack of investigation. There was the annoying, insulting one, the one who agreed to help for no reason every time, the one who fought with most of the others, and then the two who didn't do overly much except get lost and stare at one of the other ghosts.

Their 'investigating' consisted of trashing houses, occasionally pulling a poltergeist stunt, and joyriding. There were also loose rules about when they could go out and what they could or could not do. Over all, they weren't my favourite and considering they are an integral part of the story that's not a good thing. We get a diary, possible alternate identity of murder victim, and a slew of teachers who may be connected to that identity view spoiler [Surprise! The murderer is the one teacher who doesn't show a connection until the end!

Then it all fall into place at the very end and the day is saved. Strike THREE, the 'mystery' All in all, nothing terrible, just not my idea of a mystery novel to sit down and chow through in a pleasant afternoon. If you like slightly whacky, modern day teen drama with some supernatural elements, a murder 'mystery', and plenty of classic horror book and film references thrown in then you will probably enjoy The Dead Kid Detective Agency more than I did.

Though it sounds like I'm slagging the book it had some interesting ideas, they just didn't fall into place for me. But I read it through to the end and quite enjoyed the start before I realised how the rest of the book would be. Hovering between 2 and 3 stars, I'll settle on a low 2. Not for me, but maybe somebody else. Probably because the author is a man?


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  • Review | The Dead Kid Detective Agency, Evan Munday | Literary Treats.

October attempts to solve the murder of her favorite teacher by e "Did Nancy Drew ever have to cope with a disapproving and clinically depressed father? October attempts to solve the murder of her favorite teacher by employing a group of ghosts she accidentally raised when reading from a book she's writing title: Two Knives, Demons. Working with ghosts has certain advantages: "Ain't breakin' and enterin' if you just walk through the walls. Another odd choice is the time period. October is 13 years old, but in ninth grade. Aug 02, Dania rated it really liked it. Oh this book kept me laughing throughout!

Although it was strange that a living girl is solving mysteries with ghost kids, it actually was a win-win situation! I love how October was constantly alert on the possible killers of Mr. O'Shea, not becoming like the cliche protagonist in mystery novels who seem to believe the suspect is the Oh this book kept me laughing throughout! O'Shea, not becoming like the cliche protagonist in mystery novels who seem to believe the suspect is the person where ALL the evidence leads to, a.

I think that October solving the mysteries of the dead kids will be interesting. Excited for the next books! Mar 19, Hylary Locsin rated it really liked it. Check it out for more reviews! After her father gets a new job teaching high school biology, thirteen-year-old October Schwartz is forced to move to the small Canadian town of Sticksville to a house situated right next to a graveyard. A fan of horror novels and black eyeliner, October is actually kind of excited about the cemetery, but is not so thrilled to be starting at Sticksville Central High School.

Having skipped a grade, she is a full year younger than the rest of the ninth grade class, and, to make matters worse, she will be facing the daily battle of running into her dad at school. Things at Sticksville Central are not as bad as October was expecting, however. Although she is understandably unsettled by her new friends, October realizes that their ability to move through walls and travel unseen might be the key to finding out what really happened to Mr.

The addition of her ghost detective posse proves to be very entertaining, providing many opportunities for paranormal shenanigans, something that will undoubtedly keep the series entertaining as the following installments are published. Although many of the pop-culture references are likely to soar over the heads of younger readers i. Overall, The Dead Kid Detective Agency is an easily enjoyable, entertaining and downright funny story that many young readers are sure to love.

A preview of the second installment in the series can be found in the final pages of the book, although the expected publication date or title of this novel have not been announced. Not many authors joke quite as much as he does in telling the story, so it was somewhat new territory for me. Once I became more accustomed to it, however, I ended up really enjoying this book! That being said, I do think that this aspect of the novel will be lost on many readers since I am personally considerably older than the tween audience the story targets.


  • Book Review: The Dead Kid Detective Agency, by Evan Munday.
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I would highly recommend this title to tween readers who want something with a bit of edge and a lot of laughs. Sep 23, Liliana rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc , ghosts-souls-spirits , middle-grade , netgalley , paranormal-or-supernatural. Thanks to the publisher for the reviewing copy : October just moved to a new town with her clinically depressed father where she will be starting a new life at a new school.

She skipped a whole grade at her old school. And thus the Dead Kid Detective Agency was born! October and the ghosts of 5 dead kids around her age try to figure out who and why they committed the murder. I was very aware that this book was aimed at kids around the middle school age when I requested to review it I really liked the plot and the mystery behind it.

Remember that murderer I was talking about? I sooo did not guess correctly who that was! In fact, I was so surprised when I found out who it was, that I had to read it twice! Anyway, the plot was great, the twists were great, and the characters I also liked. They were all very diverse, especially the ghost kids who each came from a different era. And all the weird names the characters had was fun : In general, I absolutely loved the book!

I especially liked the few drawings it had throughout the book. That was different and definitely something I enjoyed. The book was beyond funny! But a book that can make me laugh like that is always a plus. I also liked how the narrator kept referring to us—the readers. Check out your Greek myths, kids. Those stories are messed up to the extreme. I love that!

And its sooo true! My brother is actually in 8th grade and I recommended this book to him as I was reading it. However, I think anyone can read it, not just kids. This book is of course worthy of 5 stars. Oct 12, Lakis Fourouklas rated it it was amazing. To begin with a lot of the action takes place in a graveyard, then the main character somehow reminds us of Coraline and Bod and, finally, every now and then the narration becomes dark, without lacking though a sense of humor. This is the story of October Schwartz, a thirteen year old girl that moves with her manic-depressive father to the town of Stickville where the latter is hired as a science teacher.

October is a lonely girl, with a healthy imagination, and pretty sad since her mother passed away ten years before. She really loves reading a lot, her favorite author is Stephen King, but she also likes to write. The place she likes the most in the new city is the cemetery, which is conveniently situated very close to her home. She often goes there at night to think, to reminiscence and to read.

And all is well, until there comes a time when she sees a transparent figure sliding away into the darkness; and then another. The six of them, along with her best living friends, Yumi and Stacey, will start on a journey into a world of mystery, full of obstacles and colored with agony, which will make their friendship even stronger, but that will also bring out the best of each and every one of them.

Each new day will bring with it a surprise, now and then pleasant, most of the times not, and every night will pave the way to new unrest. The landscape where the events of this story take place is bleak, but not scary. October seems to be brave but nevertheless frightened, strong but with lots of weaknesses, determined but willing to take a step back when the circumstances demand it of her.

This is a well-crafted adventure, with a big heart, which can bring much reading joy to young and adult readers alike.

The Author

Ok, so lets just say that I was wrong about this book. I apologize to the Dead Kids. I had a hard time getting into it. The first 80 or so pages were hard. Very dull. Day in the life of a thenyo genius Goth girl kinda dull. Hard to follow? Interesting writing style? Easy to follow? You get the picture. Anyone hear the Doogie Howser theme? But keep reading, trust me.

KIRKUS REVIEW

I did. Things get SO much better. As a something I was entertained.

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As a tween, with my ever-present discerning taste in literature, I would have been entertained as well. And there is actually very little to criticize. Though intriguing, there was too much mess between critical plot-relevant elements of the novel. It was like the never-ending story. I get the distinct impression that this is the first in a series of books. If this is so, I will check out the next in the series. Jan 05, Barbara McVeigh rated it liked it Shelves: young-adult , fiction , mystery.

She has just moved to Sticksville, Ontario because her clinically depressed teacher-dad had a nervous breakdown at the last school he taught at. He finds a new job in Sticksville and moves himself and his daughter there. For some reason, October is allowed to begin high school one year too soon. There is also a clique of mean girls who focus their bullying efforts on October. I do like the book a lot when it makes a true observation about life as a high school student.

In her spare time, October writes a horror novel. While reading her work out loud, she accidently raises five kid ghosts in the cemetery bordering her backyard. Get the picture? My biggest beef is that there is no real development in the relationships between October and the ghosts in the story.

And they do this more than once. The resolution of the mystery itself is almost accidental: Vital clues are carelessly revealed by implausibly inept adults. As well, the story is told both in the first and the third person for no obvious reason. The concept of The Dead Kid Detective Agency is clever, and even though I do miss Buffy , the opening book of this series lacks the wit and originality of a Joss Whedon universe.

Nov 25, Iman rated it it was amazing. I really liked this book. It was a little scary at some point in the book but it was very good :p. Oct 06, Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it. October is twelve, turning thirteen during the story, and starting high school young thanks to skipping a grade. She has just moved to town because of her father's new job at the school. She spends most of her free time writing a horror novel in the cemetery that sits just beyond her backyard.

The perils of high school include a mean spirited math teacher, a popular girl that takes an instant dislike to her, and avoiding Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday is a great book for the tween set. The perils of high school include a mean spirited math teacher, a popular girl that takes an instant dislike to her, and avoiding humiliation from her father. After some rough school episodes, October makes two friends at school, and accidentally raises some very dead kids in the cemetery and forges a friendship with them as well.

School seems to level off, complete with an extracurricular activity, when October's favorite teacher dies in what is deemed a freak accident. October does not believe the story, and begins to search for the truth beyond the teacher's death. Soon she is plotting with her two separate circles of friends, living and dead, embroiling all of the kids in a murder plot, fights, car chases and a look at Canadian history that hold the key to everything.

Dead Kid Detective Agency offers readers a nice mix of real history, murder mystery, the macabre, high school drama and some classic sleuth work a la Nancy Drew. I think that this story will be enjoyed by the middle school set and some younger teens. The mystery and most aspects of the story would do well with the young adult set, but many readers that might otherwise enjoy the story would turn from the book because of October's age.

Some reviews have mentioned displeasure with the voices of the book. Initially the story is told by a narrator, October, and letters from a man named Henry. The narrator's voice tends to be the wittiest, and I think most readers will discover who it is well before the end of the book. The letter writer's identity is also revealed within the book, and carries some important clues to the mystery. I found the Dead Kid Detective Agency to be a good introduction to a new series, which I will continue to read when the second book is published.

I enjoyed October as a character, and am looking forward to seeing more of the dead kids, and hopefully more interaction between the two distinct groups of friends. Sep 10, Vikki VanSickle rated it it was amazing Shelves: ya. His text is full of pop culture references, some more obscure than others, but comes with a handy reference guide in the back.

October Schwartz is new to the aptly named Sticksville, located somewhere in Southern Ontario. She is motherless, likes to wear black, and is deep in the writerly throes of a book entitled Two Knives, One Hundred Thousand Demons, which she toils over in class or in the cemetery beside her house. It is this book that brings about the appearance of five dead kids, representing various historical eras an aspiring loyalist shipbuilder, a depression era quintuplet, an underground railroad escapee, a Scottish immigrant from the early s, and a Native activist.

Their deaths are mysterious, but the reader is led to believe that they will one day be explained. This trio of lovable outcasts have some great dialogue and their camaraderie feels authentic. Canadian history is a much moaned about topic among students, who find it too dull, too diplomatic, and lacking in drama.

Sep 10, Julie G rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed. October Schwartz is new in town and she's about to turn thirteen. She doesn't fit in and gets picked on, a lot. So, although she's friends with a couple of fellow misfits at school, October starts spending her time in the cemetery - conveniently located through the gate in their backyard.

Inspired by the atmosphere, she decides to fight the boredom by writing a scary book about a cool demon-pounding chick. Which means more time in the cemetery, for ambience. Well, her dad did say go outside, didn October Schwartz is new in town and she's about to turn thirteen. Well, her dad did say go outside, didn't he? What October doesn't know is that the cemetery is home to five kids, about her age, from different eras of the town. Those five ghosts are only allowed to come out once a year, for a few days until Halloween.

They aren't happy to find out October isn't a ghost - but, eventually, the six manage to become friends. When the French teacher dies in a mysterious accident at school, October decides to investigate - with the help of the five dead kids. Well, it makes sense, doesn't it?

They can walk through walls and get into places that she can't. Of course, not all of them can read and write, so there are some problems along the way. Before they know it the kids including October's school friends, who don't know about the ghosts are knee-deep in murder plots, car chases, and searching for clues.

Will they find out the truth? Will they get caught? And what happens when the five dead kids have to go back at midnight on Halloween? The characters drew me in and took me back several decades. I found myself hunched over the laptop, scrolling like a maniac, eager to keep up with the kids. Review by Mary Thomas. Her new history teacher, however, was another story.

And though Mr. Martz had replaced Mr. Shea in job title, Ms. Fenstermacher seemed like she might one day replace Mr. Shea if such a thing could be done as the teacher who could be considered some sort of friend. But October had been burned by pleasant teachers before; after all, the last one turned out to be homicidal, even threatening October with an antique bayonet.

The trouble was, October couldn't help but find Ms Fenstermacher anything but Still, October couldn't shake the thought that some dark twist hid behind this awesomeness: there was a distinct possibility Ms. Okay, so it's a recognized fact that teachers, as a rule, are never going to win any Teen Choice Awards.

But check this evidence: a Ms. Fenstermacher's hair was dyed nearly as black as October's, b she wore thick-framed glasses like she was Rivers Cuomo or Buddy Holly or someone, and c she referenced Battlestar Galactica in October's class three times in her first week of teaching.

In short, Ms. Fenstermacher certainly wasn't going to be mistaken for Mr. Santuzzi, October's less-than-awesome math teacher who ran classes like a boot camp, any time soon. October Schwartz is a grade nine student at Sticksville High School and, with the help of five dead-in-mysterious-circumstances kids from different periods of the town's history, has already solved one violent mystery as hinted at in the above excerpt. As a sort of a thank-you, she has promised to try to find out how each of the five came to die so young, thus allowing them to 'stop being ghostly corpses' according to Dead Kid Rule 6, which is apparently that, if you don't know how you died, you can't rest easy.

This book is the result of attempting to find who murdered Morna MacIsaac, one of the five, but, in the process, the six of them, one living and five dead, also unravel a present-day conspiracy. In addition to her five dead friends, October, nicknamed Zombie Tramp by her non-friends because of her penchant for black clothing, black eye-liner, and black hair, has two equally socially unacceptable friends: Yumi, a Canadian of Japanese extraction, and Stacey, a boy drummer in the grade nine band and someone who is well along the autistic spectrum.

In addition, October's father teaches science at the school. These factors add up to several reasons for October's unpopularity, and when Yumi and Stacey get chosen -- by a teacher -- as the Grade-Nine hosts for the new noon-hour school radio slot over the head of the boyfriend of Miss Popularity Plus, it is not surprising that things go wrong. In fact, almost too many things go wrong.