Manhattan in Miniature




Grace’s festive eighth miniature mystery (after 2014’s Madness in Miniature) takes retired Lincoln Point, Calif., high school teacher Gerry Porter and her 11-year-old granddaughter, Maddie, to Manhattan for a Christmas crafts show—the biggest crafts fair on the East Coast. They are accompanied by Gerry’s friend Bebe Mellon, the manager of Lincoln Point’s SuperKrafts, a store that has a booth at the fair. Native New Yorker Gerry sees the trip as the perfect opportunity to show Maddie the city where she grew up, but some sleuthing soon distracts them. At the fair, Maddie sees a woman put something from one of the tables into a bag and then leave the room. This theft is the harbinger of a more serious crime to come—murder. Grace, the pen name of Camille Minichino, rounds out this delightful seasonal cozy with some miniature tips on making doll-house furniture and accessories from everyday objects. (Apr.)


by Cynthia Chow

Even though her home is now Lincoln Point, California, Gerry Porter still has fond memories of living in the Big Apple with her late husband. So when Bebe Mellon, manager of the SuperKrafts store, makes a last-minute request for help staffing a miniatures booth at a crafts fair in Manhattan, Gerry is unable to resist. Especially when the offer allows Gerry the opportunity to take her beloved granddaughter Maddie to see the Rockettes!

Once in New York, Gerry contacts her old friend and former neighbor Cynthia Bishop, only to find that Cynthia’s Aunt Elsie has recently died from incorrect medication use. Cynthia is adamant that her elderly aunt would never have misused her drugs, and Gerry agrees to look into the matter.

In the meantime, Bebe wants Gerry to solve the thefts that have started plaguing the crafts fair. Bebe and Cynthia’s demands for Gerry’s attention are unstoppable, and Gerry is fortunate to have her delightful granddaughter as an ally: Maddie emerges as a peacemaking heroine, and her genuine joy at being in New York City is matched only by her computer skills, her appreciation of miniatures, and her faith in her grandmother’s investigative abilities.

If you’ve ever considered visiting New York City for Christmas, this mystery will have you booking your flight! Even as Gerry is jumping into cabs and towncars between hotels and apartments to solve her mysteries, she manages to squeeze in time to see the American Museum of Natural History, buzz by the NY Public Library, and enjoy Manhattan’s cuisine.

The author, who as Camille Minichino made chemistry accessible and as Ada Madison transformed mathematics into fun, once again delights in introducing a new world to mystery lovers: Gerry Porter excels at creating and appreciating the intricate world of miniatures. What’s so refreshing and heart-warming is the supportive and loving relationship between Gerry and Maddie, whose affection for each other always feels realistic. Maddie still has her moments, but she never comes across as too precocious and never treats her elders with condescension. As a detective duo, Gerry and Maddie are unbeatable, but it’s their love for one another that is so enviable.