Wilma Tenderfoot

Wilma Tenderfoot

The Case of the Frozen Hearts

Book - 2011
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Wilma Tenderfoot, a ten-year-old orphan who lives at Cooper Island's Lowside Institute for Woeful Children, dreams of escape and of becoming the apprentice of the world-famous detective Theodore P. Goodman, whose every case she follows devotedly in the newspaper.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011.
ISBN: 9780803735408
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 20 cm.
Alternative Title: Case of the frozen hearts


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Sep 05, 2018

VERY GRAPHIC for a children's book!

This book appears to be for an older grade school or early middle school reader based on the character's age (10) and the cartoonish illustrations on the cover but it is very graphic for this age group. My daughter didn't finish it and was really upset by what she had read, so I read a few chapters to see what it contained. I did not read the entire book, but here are a few quotes just to give the reader and/or parents a heads up as to the graphic nature of the violence in this book.

After describing how a villian broke one character's fingers as a form of torture, the book continues: "We don't need to know that Barbu crushed Visser's glasses between Tully's buttocks. We don't need to know that he stuffed mashed carrot up his nose. And we certainly don't need to know that Tully tied him up, hoisted him over the iron stove, and lowered his feet into the bubbling pot of boiling sugar." (Page 139)... "Tully produced a large cutlass from inside his overcoat and swiped at the rope. As it sliced in two, Visser slumped to the floor. He was bleeding and broken." (Page 140) The book then describes how he dies, "Visser's soul passed into the dark," in front of his screaming son.

Very disappointed in this book and would NOT recommend.

Cleveland Youth Services Recommends May 14, 2014

Great book for the 2014 Summer Reading Club!

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

"The fact that Mrs. Speckle was a widow and that the Inspector had had a soft spot for her for over ten years is nothing to concern us here. This isn't a story about sappy romance, it's a story about murder and stealing, so don't give that piece of information a second thought."

This was a fun little mystery about Wilma, a scrawny ten-year-old orphan who has spent her entire life at the Cooper Island Lowside Institute for Woeful Children idolizing the island's most famous and accomplished detective, Theodore P. Goodman, in the hopes of someday becoming a successful detective herself so she can solve the mystery of her unknown parents. Then, one day, she is assigned a job as the live-in servant of a well-to-do woman who happens to live right next door to Mr. Goodman. She enthusiastically invites herself along for his investigation into a jewel theft and murder case, where she is both a clumsy, innocent, endearing annoyance and an occasional help. Despite Goodman's repeated warnings, Wilma is so desperate to impress him in the hopes of becoming his apprentice that she continuously meddles in the affairs of some very bad men (ex: Everyone who ever met him hated him, even nuns. And they like everyone. That's how bad he was.). Will she succeed in helping to find the culprit behind the missing gem or end up as just another corpse with a frozen heart?

My one big complaint about this book was the uneven tone; it felt like Kennedy couldn't decide if she was writing an exaggerated comedy with absurd, caricatured characters and humorous commentary or a deadly serious mystery with heavy themes and well-developed characters. I enjoyed each of these aspects in their turns, but when meshed together into a whole they felt jarringly discordant. I wasn't sure if I should be laughing with a amusement or tensed with worry. Still, it's the promising start of an interesting-looking new series.


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JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Most grown-ups are never happier than when they have someone to look down on, and the Cooper Island Farsiders couldn't have been more delighted that they had the Cooper Lowsiders to despise. As long as the Farsiders had their immediate neighbors to oppress, they were saved the exacting inconvenience of recognizing their own shortcomings.


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