Shirley Link & The Safe Case

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Shirley Link's kickoff adventure pits her wits against a thief who's stolen thirty thousand dollars from her school's safe. Usually, she'd wrap that kind of case up before The Big Bang Theory. But there's one intriguing detail. The half-ton safe disappeared too! Shirley must find the culprit quickly or her beloved principal, Mr. Reese, will lose his job. More

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About Ben Zackheim

I was one of the first writers to jump into the blogging scene, as Joystiq's first Senior Editor. My team and I led the blog's meteoric rise to the top of the blogosphere, writing headlines like "Pac-Man Hat defies any fashion sense - buy one now!" Good times.

But I wasn't satisfied with just writing about games, so I made some. After producing titles for Sony and ESPN I moved on to AOL's Games.com where my team's online games (IceBreakers, Penguin Pirates and Book of Treasures) have been played by over ten million people.

Now? Now I'm all about Shirley. The Shirley Link series grew from my need for a teen hero who knows what she's doing. There's no stumbling across victory with Shirley. She plans eight moves ahead to ensure victory. I could write her forever, and plan to. But that doesn't mean I don't have other worlds ready to spring!

In fact, I can't wait to roll out my next series, The Camelot Kids.

The Camelot Kids is a fantasy adventure set in 2012. Merlin travels the world to recruit 150 descendants of the Knights of the Round Table -- every last one of them teenagers. He needs their help to save the hidden kingdom of New Camelot. Sure, the greatest wizard to ever live may be prepared for the random rogue wizard, or a hive of hungry dragons, but is Merlin ready for The Camelot Kids?

I live in Massachusetts, surrounded by the Forbidden Forest, with my wife and son. I'm scheduled to begin teaching classes in digital marketing at New York's School of Visual Arts MFA Visual Narrative program in 2015.

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Reviews

Review by: Alysa H on Feb. 11, 2014 : star star star star
I don't read a lot of mysteries, but I've started to actively look for books that I'll be able to read with my young daughter within the next few years. This story -- and it really is a story, not a novel -- fits the bill nicely.

Like a young Sherlock, Shirley Link (love the name!) uses brilliant deductive reasoning to solve crimes. Also like Sherlock, or more specifically the current BBC version of Sherlock, Shirley has to fight against using her powers for evil.

I wish the whole thing was longer, the other characters were a bit more developed, and the "bad guy" wasn't so obvious, but overall this was a good series introduction. One caveat is that Shirley and her friends read younger than their stated age. This is Middle Grade skewing towards children, not YA.
(review of free book)

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