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This review has me blushing. Kristine L. of Reedsy Discovery writes: “Told in the first person, this finely crafted work is a tour de force of supreme storytelling skill. Strong writing fuels a dynamic plot that has more twists than The Cyclone at Coney Island. It’s masterful. Several “light bulb” moments of the Aha! variety are turned on throughout this gripping read. Meanwhile, the author offers just enough clues to keep you guessing and turning pages. And what’s that about… gold? Tunnels and runaway slaves? There’s also Revenge. Betrayal. Double-crosses. Blackmail. Cousins. (Yes, cousins.) And What’s. That. Awful. Smell? Middle grade audiences and anyone who loves a riveting story packed with action and adventure will enjoy The Case of the Crying Signpost. I couldn’t put it down!”

Kirkus Reviews calls The Case of the Crying Signpost: “A worthy whodunit that will keep readers guessing.” Also from the review: “Deep, hidden tunnels and dark, stormy nights will engage readers as Xavier’s cleverly written mystery proceeds.”

Here’s a great review: “Xavier’s history-infused mystery features an appealing pre-teen lead, a clever detective, and some of the best features of the genre… It is a compelling and enjoyable story that readers will be tempted to consume in one sitting.” —Children’s Literature

Another wonderful review: “The Case of the Crying Signpost is exciting, instructive, and enjoyable—great for young mystery, history, and ghost-story fans.” —The Children’s Book Review

Signpost gets a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite, which calls the story “intriguing and engaging from start to finish.”

I asked cover designer, Emma Eubanks, to use her imagination to give me a couple of interior sketches. Here’s one I particularly love — of the moment in the story when the fog breaks and Nelly first sees New Orleans.