Name that book #999...
December 21, 2017 1:30 PM   Subscribe

I read a fiction book about a former child detective with a famous dead mother who lived in a small town which hosted a celebration of their family's adventures in an annual sort-of Bloomsday event. There was a lot of snow, which is what's triggered my question. An old enemy returned. Maybe the famous dead mother wasn't dead after all? Everybody had ennui.

That's pretty much all she wrote. I bought the thing in a used bookstore around 2008, but I think it was fairly new at the time. It had a very elaborate peek-through cover that may or may not have been blue and white. It had both a Venture Brother's vibe and a more serious Thursday Next vibe. I don't remember liking it, but I do keep remembering it, so that's something.

It's nowhere on this list of postmodern mysteries. I seem to remember it had some sort of postmodern hook to it (maybe a world built outside the book that you had to check the publisher's webpage to learn about?), but I read Greg Galloway's As Simple As Snow the same year and was SO ANNOYED about it that I might be extrapolating.

posted by theweasel to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
former child detective with a famous dead mother
Is the child detective grown up now? If she is still a child, then maybe you are thinking of Flavia de Luce? Her mother is missing and presumed dead in the first book. I don't remember a lot of snow, but there is a snowy day in a later book with a pivotal scene involving her mother.
posted by soelo at 1:47 PM on December 21, 2017

Sorry, the name of the first book is "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" and it was on every bookstore display circa 2008.
posted by soelo at 1:48 PM on December 21, 2017

Response by poster: Good question - child detective is all grown up. I've read Flavia de Luce, and her books are much more straightforward mysteries. This was more riff on a genre/attempt to be Michael Chabon.
posted by theweasel at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2017

Is it ‘The Boy Detective Fails’ by John Meno?
posted by bq at 3:12 PM on December 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Definitely sounds like The Boy Detective Fails. (For future Metafilter/Google search posterity, the author's name is Joe Meno.)
posted by Polycarp at 3:37 PM on December 21, 2017

Response by poster: Hm. Sadly, it is not The Boy Detective Fails. Main character was definitely female, and the yearly festival celebrating her family was definitely a big deal.
posted by theweasel at 5:32 PM on December 21, 2017

Is it maybe Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain?
posted by itsamermaid at 8:05 PM on December 21, 2017

Best answer: Icelander by Dustin Long?
posted by misteraitch at 12:25 AM on December 22, 2017

Response by poster: Misteraitch, that's IT! Hooray! Thank you!
posted by theweasel at 8:02 AM on December 22, 2017

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