________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 4 . . . . September 26, 2014


Alibi. (Orca Currents).

Kristin Butcher.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2014.
113 pp., trade pbk., hc., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0767-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0768-6 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0769-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0770-9 (epub).

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Alicia Cheng.

***½ /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


“The thief is getting closer,” I say.

“Is no place safe? When did this happen?”

“About an hour ago.”

That does it. Ghost walk forgotten, people start talking over one another about the ongoing spree of robberies. I glance around for the guy who gave us the news, but he’s vanished.

And then I see him – at least, I think I do – beyond the tour group and padlocked gates, at the back of the mansion. But I can’t be sure. In the time it takes me to blink, he disappears behind the house.



Kristin Butcher’s Alibi, which is set in Witcombe, a small historic town, is a mystery with an interesting twist. Christine, 15, is in Witcombe to visit her Aunt Maude, and she helps her aunt with the antique store she owns. Although Christine is excited to see her Aunt Maude and spend more time in the historic town of Witcombe, she did not expect to be in the midst of a mystery.

     While there are a series of thefts in the surrounding towns, Aunt Maude is adamant that her antique store is not in need of a new lock nor will anything happen in the sleepy ghost town of Witcombe. But very soon thefts occur. At first, it is just in the neighbourhood. Then Aunt Maude’s store is targeted. Christine knows she must find out who did it. Could it be the mysterious young man who knows all about the thefts and lives in the old abandoned Greeley House? Or is it someone unsuspected?

     Alibi is a very well-written mystery young readers will enjoy as it is filled with suspense and adventure. As well, readers will enjoy their visit to this historic town. As part of the “Orca Currents” series, this novel is also suitable for reluctant teen readers. Butcher uses dialogue to move the plot forward. The language’s straight forwardness and simplicity allow reluctant readers or readers learning English to easily comprehend and immerse themselves in the story.

Highly Recommended.

Alicia Cheng is a Children’s Librarian at Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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