Title: The Traitor's Gate
What it's about: In this historical novel, the Huffam family is in trouble. John Huffam's father has gotten them into debt, and if the family can't pay, they will be thrown into debtors' prison. It becomes known to John that his father's involved in something deeper than just debt, and the only way to save the family is to get to the bottom of the matter. With suspects all around, it looks like the only person John can trust is his new friend Sary the Sneak.
What I thought: This is a really well-written story. The attention to historical detail is great, and it really shows up in the descriptions, giving the story great flavor. There's a nice assortment of characters, from our boy John, who's the only sensible one in his family, to his mother, who reminds me of Mrs. Bennett, to his teacher, a slightly crazy teacher (this guy reminds me of the fellow from Danny the Champion of the World), to Sary, who's spunky and slightly mysterious. The mystery is plotted out quite well, too. There are plenty of clues that you don't get the significance of at first, and the whole thing wraps up with a suitable ending. Makes me eager to read similar stories.
Overall: An engaging book that you won't want to put down until you've finished. I didn't.