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Young Adult Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

Out of Tune

A Riley Donovan mystery

by (author) Norah McClintock

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2017
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Music, City & Town Life
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
12 to 18
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Everyone in town thinks they know who killed their musical prodigy, but Riley Donovan will have the final say.

In Riley Donovan's last whodunit mystery, Alicia, a talented high school violinist, is found bludgeoned to death in a field on the outskirts of town. The small town's suspicion immediately falls on Carrie, the teen's musical rival. But Riley isn't convinced of Carrie's guilt, and even though her police-officer aunt tells her to stay out of it, Riley goes searching for the truth. Did Carrie really kill Alicia in a fit of jealous rage, or is there another explanation for Alicia's death?

About the author


Norah McClintock est l’auteure de plus de 40 livres, dont ceux des collections Chloe & Levesque, Mike & Riel et Robyn Hunter Mysteries, tous publiés chez Scholastic Canada. Les livres de Norah ont été traduits dans une douzaine de langues. Elle a remporté le prix Arthur Ellis dans la catégorie du meilleur roman policier jeunesse et beaucoup d’autres récompenses. Native de Montréal, Norah a obtenu un baccalauréat en histoire de l’Université McGill. Une mer de chagrin est son premier roman historique. «Il est temps d’utiliser toutes ces connaissances en histoire», a-t-elle dit. Norah vit maintenant à Toronto.


Norah McClintock is the author of Tell and Snitch, both Orca Soundings novels. Norah lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Norah McClintock's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Commended, Resource Links The Year's Best

Editorial Reviews

"As in all good mysteries, it's the human stories with their emotional, needy backgrounds that create death and revenge. In this terrific mystery, the reader enjoys not only snappy up-to-date dialogue but also Riley's thoughtful inner talk that demonstrates both her deep insight and her relationship with her adoptive aunt—perfectly on the money for the mid-teen character…McClintock cleverly portrays teens from fourteen through eighteen, introducing themes of spousal abuse, musical giftedness, and the dangers of exhausting police work. Middle school readers will devour this exciting, complex mystery."

Resource Links

"Out of Tune is another very well-paced novel in the 'Riley Donovan Mystery' series, and Riley is a thoroughly likeable, engaging young protagonist…the plot quickly takes off and doesn't let up. Out of Tune is highly recommended for young teen readers who enjoy strong female characters and well-written mysteries."

CM Magazine

"[McClintock] struck gold again with this latest mystery in the Riley Donovan series. The plot is complex and tightly woven, the reveal is both surprising and satisfying, the violence is prominent but tastefully presented, and Riley continues to be a strong and relatable protagonist with good moral fiber."


"McClintock creates the perfect end to the Riley Donovan Mystery series…Filled with teen drama and rumours, the novel becomes more than a straightforward whodunit…An enthralling read for all. "

Canadian Children's Booknews

"The swift pace and Riley's straightforward narration make this accessible, and low but not absent levels of gore and violence keep pages turning. A solid whodunit."

Kirkus Reviews

"The straightforward language, evenly plotted mystery, well-placed red herrings, and suspenseful situations makes this a solid choice for teens reading at a variety of levels…A solid mystery."

School Library Journal

Other titles by Norah McClintock

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