Author: Sarah Jude
Publication: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 3, 2016)
Description: Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.
My Thoughts: Set in the Ozarks, in the town of Rowan's Glen, THE MAY QUEEN MURDERS tells the story of generations of secrets coming to light. The kids have always been scared into obedience by the tale of Birch Markle who murdered the last May Queen and who ran away to the woods and can now be heard screaming in the night.
This is a story told by Ivy who loves living in Rowan's Glen. She buys into all the superstitions and practices. She tells about her cousin Heather who has been her best friend since they were born. Heather is discontented with life in the Glen and eager to escape. She is keeping secrets from Ivy which hurts Ivy. The two begin arguing about Heather's choices and their friendship almost breaks when Ivy believes that Heather and Rook, the boy Ivy loves, are in a relationship.
When Heather is crowned the May Queen, disappears, and is found murdered, Ivy needs to solve the mystery of Heather's life and uncover the secrets in the Glen.
This story was by turns homey and scary. The richly detailed Ozark setting and the insular nature of Rowan's Glen contrasted nicely with the dark evil that had been living there for generations.
Fans of mysteries will enjoy this story.
Heather disregarded Mamie's tales, but I couldn't. I needed their truth. They were mythic and strange and disarming, as much a part of my life as tending to fields and brushing dirt from the house. To hear the stories over a pinewood fire, the smells of clove tea and floral powder on an old woman's skin, was a joy lost once Mamie quit talking. Heather couldn't take it away again.I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.