THE POSTCARD, by Tony Abbott (Little Brown 2008)(ages 8-12). In this fun and quirky novel, Abbott delivers mystery, humor, suspense, and a touch of nostalgia.
A week into summer vacation after eighth grade, Jason is sent down to St. Petersburg, Florida, to help his father settle his recently-deceased grandmother's affairs. After the funeral (which is attended by some truly bizarre individuals), and while going through his grandmother's papers, Jason discovers a magazine of pulp mystery-adventure serials. Then, after a mysterious phone call, he finds a postcard connecting his grandmother's never-talked-about past; the author of one of the (never-completed) serials; and a grand old hotel (featured in the postcard). Joined by Dia, a neighbor girl, Jason must discern fact from fiction as he attempts to untangle an intricate web of love, family, deceit, obsession, and, yes, postcards.
Never dull, often funny, THE POSTCARD offers a sophisticated mystery without stinting on character development or relationships. Highly recommended.