Orphaned and penniless in 1922 Baltimore, Maryland, 15-year-old Carl and 17-year-old Adam Matuski are forced to move across the continent to live with their Uncle Pete in Portland, Oregon. Almost from the beginning, homesick Carl desperately wants to return east with his brother, but his plans fall apart when Adam is sought by police for the theft of expensive jewels from his girlfriend's wealthy home. Carl is convinced that Adam is being fingered unfairly. He and his brother are Polish Catholics, and Portland is awash in anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant sentiment. Voters, in fact, are being asked to decide whether Catholic schools, indeed all n-public schools, should be outlawed entirely. Carl works at one such Catholic school. Fuelled by the Ku Klux Klan and other unsavoury groups, the campaign touches Carl personally as he strives to clear his brother's name and solve the mystery: Who really took the family jewels, and why?
Libby Malin Sternberg was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and is still in love with the city of crabcakes, steamy summers, and ethnic neighborhoods. (What's not to love about a city that names its football team after an Edgar Allan Poe character?) Libby earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music and also attended the summer American School of Music in Fontainebleau, France. After graduating from Peabody, she worked as a Spanish gypsy, a Russian courtier, a Middle-Eastern slave, a Japanese Geisha, a Chinese peasant, and a French courtesan--that is, she sang as a union chorister in both Baltimore and Washington Operas, where she regularly had the thrill of walking through the stage doors of the Kennedy Center Opera House before being costumed and wigged for performance. She also sang with small opera and choral companies in the region. Alas, singing didn't pay all the bills so she turned to writing, working in a public relations office and then as a freelancer for various trade organizations and small newspapers. During a period of self-unemployment, she took her sister's advice and decided to pursue an unfulfilled dream--writing fiction. Her first young adult novel, Uncovering Sadie's Secrets, was a nominee for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe award from Mystery Writers of America. The second in that mystery series was released in hardcover in November 2004. A third mystery in the series was released in 2008.