The Lewton Experiment
by Rachel Sa
Seventeen year-old Sherri arrives in Lewton, Ontario, excited to start a summer job as a student reporter. Instead of the bustling tourist town she expected, she finds deserted streets, gripped by a dark secret. Are sinister forces at play? Determined to unravel the mystery, Sherri defies her editor, outwits a rival reporter, and even stumbles into a romance as she launches her own investigation.
"What is going on? Amid a whirl of stolen evidence, veiled threats and an attempted kidnapping, Sherri investigates a nefarious scheme worthy of conspiracy theories . . . In the meantime, she finds hot-and-heavy romance with a local lad, threatening her relationship with her Toronto boyfriend. / The romantic subplot . . . lightens the overall tone of this briskly paced mystery." - Kirkus
"Readers who dislike big-box stores and distrust their corporate culture will enjoy this juvenile mystery about 17-year-old Sherri, who arrives in a small town for a summer job as a reporter with the local paper.
When Sherri discovers all the small businesses on Main Street are closing and their owners are now working at the giant superstore, she becomes suspicious of foul play -- or worse. The solution is in the realm of fantasy, but Sa, a Toronto journalist, works in plenty of suspense and action." - Winnipeg Free Press
"Toronto-based journalist Rachel Sa's debut novel is a teen mystery in the classic style of Scooby-Doo or Nancy Drew, with a touch of romance thrown in for good measure. ...
Sa's plotting is clear, clean and hugely enjoyable. The story rips along at a good pace, often making use of snappy and humorous dialogue. The characters, particularly Sherri, jump off the page: they're recognizable types, but full of zing and energy.
Without being overtly political, Sa cleverly transforms the big-box store phenomenon from a complex issue into a problem that can be solved by one resourceful girl. In keeping with the zany mystery feel, the tactics used by Sherri's adversaries push the boundaries of plausibility, but the creepiness is measured, the resolution tidy (if somewhat violent), and the reading very satisfying indeed. It all adds up to a highly entertaining thrill ride." - Quill & Quire
"It is very hard not to identify Shopwells with other big-box stores which have greeters, constant sales, and stupefying muzak in the background, interrupted from time to time by excited announcements of a "super-special in Aisle 13!!" (Naming no names, of course.) The taking of these characteristics to their extremist extreme makes this book a useful comment on our consumer society, but luckily, it does not take this role too seriously, and the result is a situation one can laugh both at and with, albeit somewhat ruefully." - CM Magazine
Rachel Sa is a freelance writer and journalist. Her first book, What Rachel Sa: A Field Guide for Parents, a collection of her newspaper columns, was published in 2002. The Lewton Experiment is her first novel. Rachel lives in Toronto with her fiance and her fabulous kitty, Leia.