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Children's Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body under the Piano

by (author) Marthe Jocelyn

illustrated by Isabelle Follath

Initial publish date
Feb 2020
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Law & Crime, European
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


A smart and charming middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. For fans of Lemony Snicket and Enola Holmes.

Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn't got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room! As the number of suspects grows and the murder threatens to tear the town apart, Aggie and her new friend will need every tool at their disposal -- including their insatiable curiosity, deductive skills and not a little help from their friends -- to solve the case before Aggie's beloved dance instructor is charged with a crime Aggie is sure she didn't commit.

Filled with mystery, adventure, an unforgettable heroine and several helpings of tea and sweets, The Body Under the Piano is the clever debut of a new series for middle-grade readers and Christie and Poirot fans everywhere, from a Governor General's Award--nominated author of historical fiction for children.

About the authors

Marthe Jocelyn is the award-winning author and illustrator of over thirty-five books for babies, kids and teens. Her illustrated books have been shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. In 2009 she was the recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. One Red Button and One Piece of String are the result of her lifelong obsession with scraps, and her delight in surprising the reader with unexpected details. Originally from Toronto, Marthe settled in Stratford, Ontario, after a thirtyyear stretch in New York. For more information, visit

Marthe Jocelyn's profile page

Isabelle Follath's profile page

Editorial Reviews

One of CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens Fall 2020
One of CBC Books' Best Middle-Grade and Young Adult Books of 2020
One of the Ontario Library Association's 2020 Best Bets selection (Honourable Mention, Junior Fiction category)
PRAISE FOR The Body under the Piano:

"Pure delight—brimming with adventure, mystery and fun. I loved every character, every clue and every page. Now that I know all the answers, I have only one question left: why did this book have to end?" --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me
"Finished it at 5:20 am. Truly refreshing -- a tour de force." --Gregory Maguire, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked

"Mystery lovers, you need to check it out!" --Kristin Cashore, author of the Graceling series

"Heartfelt, funny and suspenseful, The Body under the Piano is an excellent beginning to what is sure to be a pleasantly gruesome series." --STARRED REVIEW, Shelf Awareness

"Jocelyn offers an enjoyable entrée to the Queen of Crime and to the genre; the narrative’s arch tone, the girl’s vital grandmother, and the novel’s surfeit of extravagant teas should please." --Publishers Weekly

"A remarkable, cool, and likable detective." --Kirkus Reviews

“Jocelyn keeps readers guessing throughout the book, but the eventual reveal of the perpetrator is believable, carefully clued, and satisfying. A solid dose of tart wit makes it an extra-enjoyable read.” --Horn Book Magazine
"Jocelyn offers young readers a cracking good read." --Globe and Mail
“There's a great deal of humour, adventure, excitement, derring-do and midnight scary things.” --CBC
"A delightful mystery . . . Fans of Christie and her famous detective Poirot will revel at the thought of these two joining forces as youngsters, and readers unfamiliar with the landmark author will find this an enticement to read more." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Compelling, splendidly surprising murder mystery." --Booklist
"Perhaps spring’s most sparkling debut." --Toronto Star

"I wouldn't be surprised if 12-year-old Aggie Morton and Hector Perot capture the hearts of today's young readers much the way Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys did the kids of my generation." --Montreal Gazette

"A robust, witty tale that will catch the attention of many readers." --Winnipeg Free Press

"Though mentions of ‘newsies’ and ‘petticoats’ may seem oldfangled, the book’s themes of women’s rights and immigration remain pointedly relevant . . . Aggie Morton can be counted on to reveal the truth — to the delight of middle-grade readers." --Quill & Quire

"Skillfully structured and carefully paced for maximum suspense. Highly Recommended." --CM Reviews
“As the label on Jeever’s Lavender Pocket Salts located by Aggie cautions, 'Refuse Worthless Imitations' of this inventive book.” --Imaginary Elevators
“[A] delight from start to finish.” --Historical Novel Society
"Jocelyn’s narrative flows smoothly, her prose is crisp, and the charming old English town setting adds intrigue to the story." --Prairies Book Review
"This book [is] a wonderful way for Christie fans to introduce young readers to this literary hero." --CityParent
"Readers will soon be caught up in the twists and turns of this remarkable novel." --Resource Links

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