Monday, September 18, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: The Clue in the Trees by Margi Preus Interview & GIVEAWAY

The Clue in the Trees

(Northwoods #2)
by Margi Preus
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


Francie’s brother Theo has secrets—secrets Francie thinks she wants to know. But what if one of those secrets is that Theo is a murderer? To avoid considering that possibility, Francie plunges into her senior year at a small-town high school near Enchantment Lake in northern Minnesota. It’s a radical change from her private school in New York, but she hopes to keep an eye on her great aunts and maybe finally learn more about the mother she never knew. A small silver box seems to hold the answers, and she is determined to get her hands on it.

But when her long-lost brother turns up, so does a dead body, and once again Francie is drawn into a mystery. A long list of suspects, with Theo at the top, keeps her head spinning. When Francie herself becomes a suspect she starts to feel like she is walking on thin ice, but it isn’t until she is literally walking on thin ice that the pieces start to come together—and by then it may be too late.

In her previous adventure Enchantment Lake, Francie was thrown into northern Minnesota lake living: fishing, berry picking, lost kayaks and scary boat rides, poisoned hotdishes, exploding bulldozers, a forest fire . . . and murder. But if she thinks things have settled down, she’s in for a surprise. A new school with new friends (and a few enemies), a lead role in a play, an encounter with a giant muskie, archaeological twists, secret tunnels, thin ice, and a strangely sticky murder are all coming her way in The Clue in the Trees.

Hello Margi! We are super excited to talk to you about THE CLUE IN THE TREES and to have you in our FFBC tours.


Favorite Book?

Of all time? Impossible question! Maybe Moby Dick, and no, I’m not even kidding. I would need to explain how I figured out how to read it for that to make sense.

Favorite TV show?

At the moment? BBC mysteries; Scandinavian crime shows

Favorite movie?

Anything by Wes Anderson

Favorite Song?

Today? Maybe Yesterday.

Favorite Food?

I love all food, particularly if someone else has made it.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Moominland. Wherever Wind in the Willows takes place. Anyplace EB White invented.

What were your favorite books growing up?

Pippi Longstocking, Charlotte’s Web, Island of Blue Dophins, Harriet the Spy, National Geographic Indians of the Americas, A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, Huckleberry Finn, Fairy tales.

 Favorite Quote? 

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Graham Greene

What are your fandoms?

Sorry, I have only the vaguest notion what that is.

Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans?

Mary Casanova’s Ice Out is not only a rollicking good read, but I learned some stuff from it, and put that to good use in The Clue in the Trees.  For mystery lovers who like quirky, I’d recommend the Flavia de Luce stories by Alan Bradley.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about the Enchanment Lake series?

Enchantment Lake is a fictional northern Minnesota lake (though it could be a Wisconsin or Michigan or Vermont or really anywhere where there are lakes and cabins.) so you’ll find scenes of fishing, swimming, berry picking, scary boat rides, lost kayaks, exploding bulldozers, poisoned hotdishes, eerie noises in the bog, bones, legendary treasure, more bones, and, of course, murder. So, basically, pretty ordinary, everyday cabin life.

It’s fall in The Clue in the Trees so there are cooler temperatures, falling leaves, nuisance bears, a school play, a halloween party, dinosaur teeth, bones, a silver box, a giant muskie, legendary treasure, secret tunnels, trap doors, more bones, thin ice, and darkness falling early . . .

In Enchantment lake, seventeen year old Francie Frye earned a reputation as the “northwoods Nancy Drew”. In The Clue in the Trees Francie has decided to stay and go to school in the small town so she can keep an eye on her aunts, and maybe dig deeper into the mystery of her own life and identity. It doesn’t take long for things to get dangerous . . . and mysteriously sticky.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of either book in the Enchantment Lake series)

#mystery #northwoods #danger

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I have definitely been inspired by the many mysteries I’ve read and enjoyed over the years, starting with, as a kid, Encyclopedia Brown, and of course Nancy Drew, but also Agatha Christie, Donna Leon, Colin Cotterill, Louise Penney, Allen Bradley, and many others.

Tell us your favorite quote from THE CLUE IN THE TREES.

That is not a bear. (That looks pretty dumb sitting there all by itself, but in context, I think it works pretty well. I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out why I think that’s a good quote.)

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

Most fun: The chase through the giant muskie. Most difficult: the scene in which ---wait a minute! I’m not going to give that away!

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE CLUE IN THE TREES– Which one would you pick?

The Wind in the Trees (10 hours of uninterrupted wind blowing through trees, recorded live) It’s available on Youtube, if you’re interested.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE CLUE IN THE TREES (specific music, snacks…)?

A hammock slung between trees and the (actual) sound of wind in the pines.

What’s next for you?

A couple of other books in the works and then, if all goes well, we’ll find out what’s next in store for Francie, Theo, and friends!

Thank you so much for everything, Margi!

Thank you!

I am so with her on the "food someone else has made".  I think that's my favorite too.  Also, I LOVE all those mystery books that she's referenced, and now I really want to do a retro reread!!

Margi Preus is a New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor book, Heart of a Samurai, the Minnesota Book Award winning West of the Moon, and Shadow on the Mountain, a Notable Book for a Global Society. New in 2015 is Enchantment Lake, a northwoods mystery, and The Bamboo Sword, which Bookpage says is “historical fiction at its best.”

“Margi Preus has a remarkable ability to create fascinating, page-turning stories that transport readers to faraway times and places. Whether she’s evoking Norway during World War II or 19th century Japan, Preus combines impeccable research with strong characterization and plot—the very elements that draw readers into history and spark the curiosity to learn more.” Bookpage, Sept. 2015

  • 1 copy of THE CLUE IN THE TREES by Margi Preus
  • This book is the 2nd in the series, but may be read as a Standalone
  • US Only
  • Please read our Rules in the Rafflecopter before entering

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. "What do you think about THE CLUE IN THE TREES? Will you be adding it to your TBR??" I have added it to my TBR! There is nothing better than visiting Minnesota to study giant mosquitos!

  2. I love to read mysteries and added this one to my TBR. My most recent favorite was The Disappearances.