Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
A Mystery for Thoreau

A Mystery for Thoreau

Kin Platt; Foreword by Christopher J. Platt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)



Sixteen-year-old Oliver Puckle, news gatherer for the Concord Freeman in the summer of 1846, has his work cut out for him when word arrives of a gruesome murder at Walden Pond. It seems the only citizen who is not a suspect is the poetphilosopher Henry David Thoreau, who spent the night locked in the local jail for refusing to pay his poll tax. As Oliver leads the charge to unravel the mystery, he has much to learn from his colorful neighbors – among them Ralph Waldo Emerson and a feisty teenage Louisa May Alcott – but unexpectedly it is the recluse Thoreau himself who provides particular help to the investigation.

This posthumously published novel, set in the famously literary town of Concord, Massachusetts, is rich with intrigue and witty detail and features a foreword by the author's son.


Praise for A Mystery for Thoreau

“Readers . . . will be rewarded with believably deep characters in a moody, entertaining period piece.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Entertaining and engaging.” —Sacramento Book Review

“This posthumously published murder mystery showcases Platt's ability to mix melodrama with tongue-in-cheek humor.” —Booklist

“A foreword by the author's son recounts Platt's career and explains how this book was found among his papers and published posthumously.” —School Library Journal

“A terrific read, full of twists and turns, narrated by a bright and amiable sixteen-year-old. Young Oliver Puckle weaves together his own personal story with background information on Concord's impressive history and the lives of Concord notables. Among the substantial cast of historical characters is Henry David Thoreau, who, as he lends a hand in solving the crime, instructs Oliver in his philosophy of resistance to civil government as well as his philosophy of the ‘natural life.'” —Ronald A. Bosco, Distinguished Professor of English and American Literature, University of Albany, SUNY / Former president of the Thoreau Society / Editor of Nature's Panorama: Thoreau on the Seasons

“The only known historical novel by Kin Platt . . . this one has never been published before, and it is something of a find. Well paced and historically accurate.” —

“This historical novel is suspenseful and atmospheric.” —Kliatt

“This fine posthumous historical novel by the Edgar Award-winning author . . . is an interesting and informative mystery for a class assignment or pleasure read.” —VOYA

About the author

Kin Platt; Foreword by Christopher J. Platt

KIN PLATT (1911–2003) had a varied and illustrious career, writing for radio, comics, and television, and publishing over thirty books, including two adventures in the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series, and the Edgar Award– winning young adult novel Sinbad and Me.

Kin Platt

Christopher J. Platt

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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