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Footer Davis Is Probably Crazy    by Susan Vaught order for
Footer Davis Is Probably Crazy
by Susan Vaught
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

'Adele Davis, she's a pretty thing, but she ain't right, bless her heart.' That's what people in Bugtussle, Mississippi say about Footer Davis' mother. And sometimes it's true. This time Adele has exploded a copperhead snake with an elephant gun. The kickback from the blast throws her backwards seven feet, leaving her with an injured shoulder and unable to talk. Footer has no option but to call her dad to come home. Not that her call was the only one he received.

When Adele is taken to the hospital, Footer knows not to expect her home any time soon. Adele Davis is a good mother and a good person, but she is bipolar and sometimes stops taking her medication. After having her shoulder treated in the emergency room, Adele is transferred to a psychiatric facility. Her hospitalization is a routine that eleven-year-old Footer knows well.

Just before her mother's hospitalization, two children disappeared from a nearby farm on the same night that their grandfather was murdered and a fire destroyed their home. Footer and her best friend Peavine set out to solve the mystery and find the missing children. Footer is secretly worried about her mother's whereabouts at the time of the fire. She is also worried about her own sanity because she keeps having memories or hallucinations. She's not sure which.

Footer's notebooks keep a record of their investigation, sometimes offering humorous notations about their interviewees. Footer's school essays keep her teachers off-balance while they try to determine what is going on in her life at home.

Footer's humor and the citizens of Bugtussle keep this novel moving. In spite of the serious theme involving mental illness, Vaught keeps the novel light and includes a darn good mystery and a light romance.

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