6. THE CONSPIRATORS’ CLUB – Middle Grade Contemporary Mystery

Assorted_Uzi_Water_Guns_lgMentor Name: E.M. Caines

Mentee Name: Ellen Hill


Category: Middle Grade

Genre: Contemporary Mystery

Word Count: 52,000


For thirteen-year-old Peter Holm, boarding school is as fun as a freezing shower in winter until his new friend, Samantha, asks him to help her start a Conspirators’ Club. Its goal? To challenge the school’s unfair regulations with covert acts of rebellion. But when a friend goes missing, the Club knows a criminal is hiding among them, one who’ll stop at nothing to protect his secrets. Not even murder.


Peter took another glance around the ferry cafeteria, his mind heavy with disappointment.

Face it, he thought. Jason’s not onboard.

He turned and burst through the swinging doors out on deck and—

—knocked into a girl carrying a brimming cup of soda. Without a lid.

“Sorry!” He stared in horror at the brown stain spreading across her white shirt. “Er…, you okay?”

The girl’s head snapped up from gaping down at her front. Blue-green eyes caught Peter off guard with their intensity. Without a word, she stalked past him into the cafeteria, holding the rest of her soda at arm’s length.

Peter frowned at her back as the doors swung shut behind her. “I apologized!” He wondered who she was. Too old for a sixth-grader, she had to be around his age. But he didn’t remember seeing her at the Academy before.

“Nice going, squirt!”

Peter sighed. Of course Mark, his older brother, would catch him making a fool of himself. He turned. Mark leaned against the railing, smirking, his back to the Horston Academy Island drawing closer. Peter shrugged. He had bigger worries to deal with than spilled soda. “I was looking for Jason.”

“In her soda cup?”

“Very funny.” He slouched over to the railing and rested his elbows on it. “What if he really did run away? Then he won’t come back at all.”


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