Murder in a Pig's Eye by Lynn Hall

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Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Lynn Hall's books for young readers often center on difficult, sensitive, and controversial themes, but Murder in a Pig's Eye is nearly pure escapism. Hall's intent in this book is simply to divert, enchant, and entertain her audience by means of creating pleasing characters and a hilarious and absorbing plot. This short novel is, specifically, a farcical comedy/mystery.

When aging farmer Henry Siler cuts his arm with a chain saw on the same weekend that his wife, Bella, disappears, suspicions take shape in the mind of Bodie Tureen, the book's sixteen-year-old protagonist. Bodie, along with his younger sister Gracie and his friend Zach, attempts to prove that Henry has murdered his wife and hidden her body on his small New Hampshire farm. Bodie searches for Bella's body in such places as a cistern, a manure pile, a pig pen, and finally the basement of Henry's farmhouse, but each investigation ends only in increasing hilarity for the reader and humiliation for Bodie. Closely following the established traditions of the mystery story, Hall provides a "surprise" and highly satisfying plot twist at the novel's end.