Book Review – Riddle at the Rodeo

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Riddle at the Rodeo by Claudia Cangilla McAdam

When someone steals the prize buckle of a junior bull-riding champion, amateur sleuth Kirsten Camarata sets her mind to solving the mystery. She takes part in a rodeo in order to get behind the scenes, and even though someone goes to extreme measures to prevent her from doing so, her detective skills pay off as she pieces together the clues to solve the mystery.


Riddle at the Rodeo (A Camarata Cousins Mystery) by Claudia Cangilla McAdam is a delightful middle-grade mystery – a Catholic Nancy Drew. This book is the kind of Christian book that I love, where the character’s faith comes out in a completely natural way. I always think these types of “Catholic-light” books are extremely important because they portray the characters as just regular kids, and that faith is a natural part of their lives. This is a great message for our children to see represented in their entertainment.

In Riddle at the Rodeo, while the main character, Kirsten, is on vacation with her cousins, she is asked to help solve a mystery. The mystery is fun and intriguing, and the sections about the rodeo were quite interesting. I especially appreciated how this character recognized her own bad behavior. When Kirsten feels bad about the white lies, she has told, and for the way she has treated her brother, she takes a detour during her sleuthing to go to confession. Though small, this is precisely the kind of issue kids deal with every day. Having characters that can show them a faith-based way to handle problems is such a fantastic example for kids. I look forward to more adventures with the Camarata Cousins.

A Note From the Reviewer:

As a writer and a mother, I’m always searching for wonderful Christian books for teens of all ages. I truly believe one way we can encourage teens in their faith is through fiction with positive messages, embedded in great stories. There are many fantastic Christian and Catholic teen novels out today but they can be hard to find. I’m excited to share some of these books with you.

Leslea Wahl

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