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A Hitch at the Fairmont    by Jim Averbeck & Nick Bertozzi order for
Hitch at the Fairmont
by Jim Averbeck
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

After his mother's apparent tragic death Jack Fair is taken in by an aunt he really doesn't know that well. Aunt Edith lives in San Francisco in the posh Fairmont Hotel atop Nob Hill, so that's where the eleven year old orphan will now be living.

Jack's aunt is not a very compassionate person and the boy soon realizes there's something not quite right about his relative. But before he can discover more the woman is kidnapped. At this point Jack meets another guest at the hotel, the famous director Alfred Hitchcock, and the two form an alliance to discover what has happened to Aunt Edith.

This chapter book, for readers eight years of age and older, is filled with surprises not only about Jack's mysterious aunt but also about his entire family.

Jim Averbeck uses San Francisco as the backdrop for this mystery, and his characters move from Union Square and China Town to Fisherman's Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge. A very atmospheric novel that captures the sights and sounds of this wonderful city, A Hitch at the Fairmont combines humor with intriguing characters and an action packed plot. The chapter titles coincide with many of the movies Alfred Hitchcock made.

In the book's appendix you'll find information about each movie. It includes a summary, the picture's most thrilling moment, the innovative techniques it incorporated, and the cameo scene where the director inserted himself into the film. Any adult Hitchcock fan will also find this novel a fun read because it revisits many of the sites the director used in the movies he directed in San Francisco.

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