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The Dark Stairs (Herculeah Jones Mystery) - Softcover

 
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Mystery is in Herculeah Jones’s blood. How could it not be, with a father on the police force and a mother who’s a private eye? So when Herculeah notices a man hanging around the "Dead Oaks" mansion, she can’t resist doing some investigating of her own. Legend has it the old estate was the site of a murder, and now it looks like there’s something even more nefarious going on. Can Herculeah crack the case before the mystery man closes in on her?

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About the Author:
Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.

First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.

"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself intomy books -- something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Review:
Byars shows how delightful middle-grade mysteries can be. -- Booklist

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  • PublisherPuffin Books
  • Publication date2006
  • ISBN 10 0142405922
  • ISBN 13 9780142405925
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages130
  • Rating

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780140369960: The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780140369960
Publisher: Puffin, 1997
Softcover

  • 9780670854875: The Dark Stairs (Herculeah Jones Mystery)

    Viking..., 1994
    Hardcover

  • 9780590056380: The Dark Stairs (A Herculeah Jones Mystery)

    Trumpe..., 1994
    Softcover

  • 9780370319834: The Dark Stairs (Herculeah Jones Mysteries)

    Bodley..., 1995
    Hardcover

  • 9780745130910: The Dark Stairs: A Herculeah Jones Mystery

    Chiver..., 1995
    Hardcover

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