THE PAPER ROUTE

Jacqueline Cayer Nelson McDonald

Book Cover

GENRE

DETECTIVE CRIME HISTORICAL FICTION FAMILY DRAMA MYSTERY RELIGIOUS

    Core Theme

    CRIME, MURDER MYSTERY, FAMILY DRAMA.

    TIME PERIOD

    1940s & '50s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    PAPER CASES, PAPER GIRL, MURDERS UNREAD

    CHARACTER LIST

    JACKIE: 8-10. LEAD. DETERMINED, PASSIONATE, & LOVING.

    AUNT BLANCHE: 50+. MR. BANCROFT'S SIGNIFICANT OTHER & JACKIE'S GREAT AUNT.

    DETECTIVE DAHM: 30+. DETECTIVE ON THE MURDER CASE & JACKIE'S GO-TO TO INFORM ABOUT PLOUFFE.

    RONALD PLOUFFE: 30+. COOK AT CAMEO DINER & JACKIE'S PENGUIN MAN.

    LOUISE & LEO BOISVERT. 30+. LOUISE WAS COUTU'S MISTRESS & THEY BOTH WERE PRIME SUSPECTS IN COUTU'S MURDER CASE & JACKIE'S PAPER CUSTOMERS.

    UNCLE VICTOR: 40+. MILL WORKER WHERE BOISVERT WORKS & JACKIE'S UNCLE.

    Logline

    A mill-town paper girl has an unnatural ability to discern good from evil at first sight. In the course of her daily delivery of the newspaper, she unwittingly collects information relevant to an on-going murder investigation and is key to solving a cold case involving her great aunt

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,18-34,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Mid-century, mill town, Lowell, Massachusetts & NYC

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: No

    Starting Description

    To escape her grim reality, a paper girl surveils an odd, nocturnal stranger who is later wrongly accused of murder. Compelled to alibi him, she seeks out and bonds with the case detective who takes the paper girl, her baby brother and simple uncle under his wing.

    Ending Description

    The detective's childless family includes his wife and her brother, Jack Kerouac. Through them, the paper girl is introduced to New York City's circle of beat writers and artists, one of whom, it turns out, shares a disturbing connection with her great Aunt.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Jackie

    Age: 8 - 13

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Religious,Lone Wolf,Secretive,Aspiring,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Detective Dahm

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Masculine,Aggressive,Confident,Blunt,Strong Moral Code

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Victor the Strong man

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Masculine,Obedient,Uneducated,Complex,Religious,Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Jack Kerouac

    Age: 50

    Gender: Male

    Role: skeptic

    Key Traits: Narcisstic,Aggressive,Masculine

    Development Pitch

    THE PAPER ROUTE is a 74,250 word family saga set in mid-century, mill-town Lowell, Massachusetts. It's about a paper girl with a subtle and untapped ability to discern good from evil at first sight. In the course of her daily delivery of the newspaper, she unwittingly collects information relevant to an ongoing murder investigation. Compelled to undo an injustice, the paper girl seeks out and shares her insights with the case detective who comes to regard her fondly as part mystic, part truant. Together, they become a formidable crime solving duo. Forged in Catholicism, longing and loss, the bond between the paper girl and the detective grows to envelope their respective families which include the paper girl's unofficial wards, Chou-chou, her baby brother and Victor the Strongman, her simple uncle. The detective's childless family includes his wife, Caroline and her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Joan Kerouac. Through them, the paper girl is introduced to New York City's circle of beat writers and artists, one of whom, it turns out, shares a disturbing connection with her and her late great aunt. Recognizing that the paper girl's uncanny ability exposes her to evil, the detective vows to protect her from any and all miscreants, known and unknown. THE PAPER ROUTE, my first book in a planned trilogy, is a cross between HARRIET THE SPY and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.

    Genre

    SUSPENSE, THRILLER, DRAMA

    Brief

    Inquisitive and curious paper girl, Jackie, recreationally does surveillance on her neighborhood to only come close to unraveling two murder cases. She then goes to the detective on the case to solve the crime to prove innocence of the falsely accused man.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: FAIR

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile did a good job reflecting the book.

    Draw of Story

    Crime stories are always intriguing, so the fact that a young girl was fascinated and motivated to solve crimes in her neighborhood was very cool to read.

    Possible Drawbacks

    A few things that made me put the book down was the structure of the book. It could have been put together a little better. Also, it was unclear in a few places where the plot was going and the importance of certain characters for the story to progress.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is that it would be a cool new take on Nancy Drew. Watching a young girl who delivers newspapers go on to solve crimes with a detective out of sheer curiosity.

    Fanbase Potential

    I don't believe it would have a large fanbase, but it can certainly attract audience, especially younger generations.

    Awards Potential

    If the cast that is picked does a phenomenal job with the story, there may be potential for awards.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    NANCY DREW, HARRIET THE SPY, GET A CLUE, CARMEN SANDIEGO, PERRY MASON (SINCE THEY WATCH PERRY MASON IN THE BOOK).

    What’s New About the Story

    The fact that Jackie is a young girl who does not come from a wealthy family makes it very interesting. Making the story unique because it shows that passion for crime-solving can come at any age and from any walks of life.

    Lead Characters

    Jackie is a passionate, curious, and unrelenting little girl, who doesn't back down in the face of danger. She is shrewd, loving, and honest. Even after living in a big family with altering lifestyles, Jackie knows how to adjust accordingly and make sure she is respectful to everyone.

    Uniqueness of Story

    There is potential for this story to be a rare gem. The story of a young paper girl being fascinated with murder mystery cases to fill time in her day is unique.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    The story isn't necessarily an absolute rare gem, it has its moments, but overall is an already fleshed out outline from a lot of stories done before.

    Tips for Improvement

    It is unique enough where previous crime dramas haven't revolved around a young paper girl, but the story needs more of attention grabbing details. Also, the introduction to characters such as Coutu and Boisvert could have been done a little smoother than how it was done.

    Brief

    A passionate young paper girl teams up with a detective to solve not only one but two murder cases that happen in her paper route. Her determination to prove a falsely accused man's innocence sets off a chain of events that brings multiple stories to life.

    What We Liked

    The attraction towards kids and murder mystery was a fun take. Jackie was intriguing as a character to follow along with. Even through her personal trials and tribulations, Jackie never backs down from a good murder mystery. Regardless of circumstances, detective Dahm and Jackie teamed to solve cases.

    Film: Due to its low budget, the story could also be made as a TV movie, perhaps for streaming with sequel potentials. With young audience, it can be viewed at home and enjoyed as a leisure family bonding experience.

    TV: The book can be made into a series with hopes of having multiple seasons, as the main character Jackie disappears at the end. The mystery, crime, and family drama aspect of it is very compelling to watch.

    Key points: Low Budget; Murder mystery; Young children as audience; Proving a man's innocence; Justice

    Synopsis

    Jackie is part of a big family. Her mother, Marguerite, is now pregnant with a third child. Jackie has an older brother named Raymond, and she wishes to have a sister. Marguerite’s mother, who they call Mémère, has her two sisters visiting. Mémère calls upon Jackie to greet her great aunts. Aunt Blanche then gives Jackie a silver dollar, and asks if she would like to come and stay with her and Pappy, her undertaker partner, for a while, to which Jackie agrees. Jackie then proceeds to go and pack, and finds her mother laying down, resting.

    On their way to aunt Blanche’s house, which she shares with Pappy, Jackie reminisces about her time with her family. Upon arriving, Jackie notices that the ground floor is where the funeral home that Pappy owns is. The second floor is Blanche and Pappy’s home, and the top floor is occupied by a gay couple, which she is told to stay away from.

    On the day Jackie is to return home from Blanche’s, her great aunt reveals the news that Jackie now has a baby brother to go home to. She falls in love with baby Moe and takes care of him all summer. As soon as school starts, Jackie starts to concentrate on her classes and Penguin Man, a strange tall man that has been creeping around the neighborhood. She spends late nights spying on him, and keeping tabs. After a couple of non-eventful weeks, the newspaper headlines show a murder case that frames the Penguin Man, AKA Mr. Plouffe. Jackie, however, believes that Mr. Plouffe is innocent of this crime.

    Jackie goes to the police station to speak with Detective Dahm, who is in charge of Coutu's murder case. Hoping to prove his innocence, Jackie delivers her surveillance journal to Detective Dahm.

    In a twist, Detective Dahm arrests widow Adele Coutu for the murder of David Coutu. However, both Dahm and Adele know that she did not murder her husband. Dahm awaits for Adele to confess everything anyway. When Dahm goes to visit Adele in prison, he shows her the guest check he had found in Old Man Coutu’s suitcase, in which it was clear that David Coutu had shot himself. Dahm had to tell Adele that the gun he had procured was from a poker game won against his father, and that it was given to his father by Louise Boisvert, Coutu's mistress.

    A year after the Coutu case is closed, the Bancroft-Libby case reopens as Jackie and Detective Dahm comes across a familiar face from Jackie's visit to Blanche's house.

    About The Author

    Hailing from Kerouac's hometown, the author is an imperfect believer, wife, mother, grandmother and failed vegan. She has made a good living writing commercial newsletters and marketing collateral for a high-tech company headquartered in Tel Aviv. Born writer; re-born novelist.