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When Rennie's dad, the Major, goes overseas on assignment, he enlists his mother-in-law to babysit Rennie. Babysit! A guy who's about to turn fifteen! But Grandma is no surrogate drill sergeant. She has fun on her mind. That means ditching school and heading to avalanche country for a surprise ski trip. Nothing can ruin Rennie's vacation, not the lodge owner, who turns out to be Grandma's geriatric long-ago boyfriend, not the annoying backcountry guide or the crooked park ranger or the pushy businessman from Mumbai, not even the explosions. And definitely not the most beautiful girl in the world, whom he meets while stumbling onto a murder plot.

   In this hair-raising prequel to Close to the Heel and From the Dead, the loyal, smart and observant Rennie heads to avalanche country.
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Copyright ©2016Norah McClintock
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
McClintock, Norah, author Slide / Norah McClintock. (The seven prequels)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459811676 (paperback).—isbn 9781459811683 (pdf).— isbn 9781459811690(epub)
I. Title. ps8575.c62s6 2016jc813'.54 c20169004945 c20169004953
First published in the United States,2016 Library of Congress Control Number:2016933641
Summary:In this middlegrade novel, Rennie ends up on a ski trip with Grandma and stumbles on a murder plot.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has ® printed this book on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Masterfile
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com
Printed and bound in Canada.
To the guys. Thanks for this one, fellas.
Slide:A fall of a mass of rock, earth or snow down a slope; an avalanche or landslide.
It happened when the Major was deployed over seas for a month. To be honest, I was glad to see him go. Mr. HardAss. Mr. Military Police.Mr. YouCan’tPutOneOveronMe. Mr. Eyes intheBackofHisFreakingHead. And always angry about something. Pick up your clothes, Rennie. Don’t slouch, Rennie. What do you mean, you passed? This is a C. You think a C is okay? What would your mother say? Only it was always in French.en Toujours français. Qu’estce que ta mére aurait dit?And the
N O R A H Mcc L I N T O C K
inevitableYou’ll thank me one dayTu me remer cieras un jour. As soon as Grandma heard about his assign ment, she called him and offered to look after me—as if I needed looking after. I was fourteen already, going on fifteen. “Put him on a plane, André,” she said. “I’ll meet him at the airport.” But no, that was no good because I might miss a couple of weeks of school, and then look out! Apparently, they have some kind of heat seeking missile they deploy against kids who deke off school to go visit their grandmothers. Geez, like it was going to make any difference. So Grandma came to us. She arrived in a taxi with enough luggage for the duration. The Major’s plan: she would ride herd on me until the end of term, and then I could go back to Toronto with her. The Major came out of his bedroom with his bag. His uniform was crisp. His boots were buffed to mirrorlike finishes.
“Make sure he does his homework, Melanie,” he said to Grandma with just enough of an accent that you could tell English wasn’t his first language. “And look at what he’s done. Don’t just take his word for it.” Grandma glanced quizzically at me but said nothing. “Notvor Internet during the week,” the Major continued. “I used to give him privileges—afterhe finished his homework—but all that did was encourage a hurried, slaphappy attitude to his schoolwork.” He meantslapdash. The Major messed up words all the time. Some people thought it was funny. He didn’t. My ears burned, even though I told myself I didn’t care what he said. I looked at Grandma. She smiled pleasantly at the Major and said, “We’ll be fine. Won’t we, Rennie?” We followed him to the door and watched him stride to the car waiting for him in the driveway. He stowed his gear in the trunk and climbed in
N O R A H Mcc L I N T O C K
beside the driver without looking back. The car drove away. Grandma closed the door against the cold. She rubbed her hands together and grinned wickedly. “We’d better get you packed,” she said. “We have a plane to catch.” “A plane? I thought I was supposed to stay here.” “Rennie, darling, your father left me in charge. So what do you say you humor him and let me decide what’s best?” I didn’t even have to think about it. “Okay.”
Grandma is a grandma, which means she’s old. But practically the only way you’d know how old is by checking out her birthday cakes (she insists on the correct number of candles, and lately the cakes have been lit up like major cities) or by zooming in on her wrinkles with a magnifying glass. There’s no Grandpa. He died so long ago that even my mom didn’t remember him. But she used to get a dreamy kind of look in her eyes when she told me what she knew about him.It was like she was imagining him, even though she knew him only through old photographs.