Children's Books


Jim Averbeck

ISBN: 978-1442494473

Publisher: Atheneum/Simon and Schuster

Copyright Date: 2014

Rights Retained: Merchandising/Commercial, Motion Picture, Dramatic, Television, Radio

Price: $16.99


Layered like a puzzle, and sparked with OH!-dashes of humor, Jim Averbeck Presents …

An intrepid boy teams up with Alfred Hitchcock himself in this rollicking mystery rife with action, adventure, intrigue, and all the flavor of film noir.

After the mysterious death of his mother, eleven-year-old Jack Fair is whisked away to San Francisco’s swanky Fairmont Hotel by his wicked Aunt Edith. There, he seems doomed to a life of fetching chocolates for his aunt and her pet chinchilla. Until one night, when Aunt Edith disappears, and the only clue is a ransom note written…in chocolate?

Suddenly, Jack finds himself all alone on a quest to discover who kidnapped Aunt Edith and what happened to his mother. Alone, that is, until he meets an unlikely accomplice—Alfred Hitchcock himself! The two embark on a madcap journey full of hidden doorways, secret societies, cryptic clues, sinister villains, and cinematic flair.

With an especially strong voice, a fine supporting cast, and a clever non-fiction connection, A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT is certain to be a bit hit among mystery-loving middle-grade readers.

Linda Sue Park agrees:
“HITCH is terrific. There is so much to like: a fun plot that really works; two wonderful characters with a fine supporting cast; belly-laugh humor; resonance of the movies in general and Hitchcock's work in particular; and lots of truly lovely writing.”

As does Patty MacLachlan:
A HITCH AT THE FAIRMONT is clever, intelligent, and completely entertaining with wonderful characters. A fabulous book. Read it! --Patricia MacLachlan

“[The book includes] macabre twists that wouldn’t be out of place in a Dahl book. A fine read and a decent love letter to all that Hitchcock stood for.”—Kirkus Reviews








Jim Averbeck


Debut Middle-Grade author of the mystery for ages 8 to 12

Jr. Library Guild selection


Debut Middle-Grade author of the mystery for ages 8 to 12

Common Core Activity Guide available


Fabulous First Lines, 2014 Edition, Round One

No body meant no casket, so they used her headshot instead. This was a Hollywood funeral, after all.



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Author Revealed

Q. Previous occupations
A. bottle boy, salesperson, sod inspector, civil engineer, Peace Corps volunteer, customer service, software designer, author/illustrator

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

Q. Favorite movie

Q. Favorite television show
The Wire

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Mr. Frodo Baggins, of Bag End, Hobbiton, The Shire

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
 Godzilla. He’s complex.


“In 1956 at the fabulous San Francisco Fairmont Hotel, 11-year-old Jack teams up with the famous movie director Alfred Hitchcock to uncover a plot involving drugged chocolates, mistaken identities, kidnapping, disguises, and close escapes. References to actual Hitchcock films and anecdotes abound throughout, in chapter headings, settings, and focused descriptions reminiscent of camera pan-ins….This is a fantastic introduction to the great filmmaker and to a 1950s sensibility of childhood and Hollywood….try this with the Blue Balliett or Trenton Lee Stewart fan set.

School Library Journal

“[The book includes] macabre twists that wouldn’t be out of place in a Dahl book. A fine read and a decent love letter to all that Hitchcock stood for.”