I've never met Lesley Kagen, although we share the same publisher and her author photo was inadvertently added to the ARC of my novel, The Penny Tree last summer in error -- something we've laughed about via email.
Whistling in the Dark is Lesley's debut novel (great cover, huh?). It was selected as a Book Sense Pick for May and a Featured Alternate by Double Day Book Club, The Mystery Guild and The Literary Guild. Click here to check out her website.
Below is a brief description of the book, followed by an author blurb that mirrors my opinion and will hopefully sway yours enough that you'll rush out and buy it:
It was the summer on Vliet Street we all started locking our doors... Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said—actions speak louder than words. Sally would have to agree with her. Because during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, who was left strict instructions to take care of the girls, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that her charges are on the loose. And so is a murderer and molester.
Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. If nobody will believe her, she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors.
Funny, wise and uplifting, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two tough and endearing little girls...and of a time not so long ago, when life was not as innocent as it appeared.
"Bittersweet and beautifully rendered, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two young sisters and a summer jam-packed with disillusionment and discovery. With the unrelenting optimism that only children could bring to such a situation, these girls triumph. So does Kagen. Whistling in the Dark shines.
Don't miss it." — Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling
author of Water for Elephants