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The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth


Caroline Rennie Pattison’s The Whole, Entire, Complete Truth is her first Sarah Martin mystery.

Sarah’s parents have moved her and her older brother, Ray, to Muskoka, which is much more “back-country” than crowded city. All of a sudden she has to ride her bike a long distance to see another house. And this move comes just in time for her first year of high school.

Parents. Don'tcha love ‘em?

So, she’s already not too happy with her police detective father - then she begins to become friendly with horse-loving neighbor, Mindi. But when she asks to accept Mindi’s invitation to meet up after school and introduce to her to her beloved horses at her mother’s boyfriend’s house, Mr. Braemarie, he insists that she can’t visit her there but that Mindi is just fine to spend time at their house. Even Sarah’s mom is confused.

To Sarah’s already dangerously curious nature, this refusal is extremely suspicious and she can’t help but be tempted to find out what exactly it is about Mr. Braemarie’s house that her dad doesn’t want her near.

And since she and Mindi are hitting it off so well and Sarah’s desperate for friends in her new desolate hometown, she starts visiting Mindi anyway and oh-so-innocently investigates Mr. Braemarie on the side.

And finds out that maybe her dad wasn’t being so irrational after all.

I enjoyed The Whole, Entire Complete Truth for its Nancy Drew-esque flavor – kind of safe, but always interesting. There were some twists that took the plot a bit farther than the 60s Nancy adventures, though. And it shone light on a surprisingly disturbing issue that is prominent in Canada (where the book takes place, and the author lives) that needs to have more notice.

I’d be interested in the next novel involving the pesky, inquisitive Sarah – but not clamoring for one. And for any readers that require, at the least, the slightest touch of romance, you won’t find that here.

But for those of you who don’t require a Logan for Veronica (if you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, go watch the canceled but great Veronica Mars), it is a quick read, written in an engaging first person voice. The characters are drawn with full-fledged personalities, and the sibling rivalry is definitely fun to read. Especially the chapter where Sarah allows her brother to write his own version of events to prove to her father that he isn’t as humble and great as everyone thinks.

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