Windy Bottom, Georgia, is usually a peaceful place. Coop helps his mom at her café and bookstore, hangs out with his grandpa, and bikes around with his friends, Justice and Liberty. The town is full of all kinds of interesting people, but no one has ever caused a problem. Until now.
When the link to a cold case mystery is discovered beneath the playground, everyone is eager to solve it. But somehow, Gramps is taking all the blame. It seems like there are a lot of secrets that were buried in their small town after all…
Will Coop and his friends get to the bottom of the mystery and clear Gramps’s name before it’s too late?
Q & A with Taryn Souders
Why did you want to write Coop Knows the Scoop?
I have always LOVED mysteries! For a long time, growing up they were all I read. It was always fun for me (as the reader) to see if I could solve the mystery by the time the detective in the story did. When I was trying to decide what my next writing project would be, I thought trying my hand at writing a mystery would be a great challenge!
How do you create a mystery?
I had to work backwards—though other writers might do it differently. I needed to know what the crime was, who committed it and why, before I could start the actual writing process. I needed to do that so I would know when to drop in clues, suspects, and red herrings. We have a large dry erase board in our dining room that I would FILL with notes on the story.
What brightens your day?
I volunteer a few days a week at our school library and there have been several times when I’ve had the pleasure of helping a student find a book. When that student returns the book and says they loved it and they want another one, THAT brightens my day (that . . . and copious amounts of coffee).
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know:
I am not a big fan of jazz music—particularly if it’s from the 80’s (sorry, Kenny G). Something about it drives me to near lunacy. I’ve actually had to leave stores if jazz music is playing. LOL!
Finally, what is the question you wish people would ask and never do?
Have you ever sniffed the belly of a Daddy Long-legged spider? Why yes, yes I have. When I was younger, my brother convinced me that a Daddy Long-legged spider’s belly smelled like bubble gum. I spent my childhood trying to determine if that was true. The jury is still out.
I guess I wish people would ask this because it just shows how crazy our siblings can be—and siblings are a total blessing (most of the time)!
Taryn Souders graduated from the University of North Texas with a specialization in mathematics. She’s the award-winning author of Whole-y Cow! Fractions Are Fun, Dead Possums Are Fair Game, and How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer. She lives in Sorrento, Florida with her family.