Ingrid Joey Chief Strade Narrator
Narrator: Ingrid Levin-Hill is having a chaotic year. First she gets lost on the way to soccer practice and ends up being the last person to see a murder victim. Then she’s accused of cheating on a math test and gets placed in a lower math class resulting in parental anger and punishment. To top it all off, she has a crush on the police chief’s son, Joey, and it appears he might feel the same about her. Although she likes his son, Ingrid worries that the police chief will discover her relationship to the murder investigation. In the following scene, Ingrid eats dinner with Joey and his father. After the routine conversation, the conversation turns to Chief Strade’s investigation of the murder Ingrid almost witnessed. The plot thickens in Peter Abrahams’s novel Down the Rabbit Hole.
Joey: Ingrid’s into Sherlock Holmes.
Chief Strade: There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
Ingrid: “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
Chief Strade: I’m a big fan. Wonder what he’d think of the case?
Ingrid: The Cracked-Up Katie case?
Chief Strade: That’s what people called her, but there was never any evidence of actual insanity and no criminal record whatsoever. She did have her share of problems.
Joey:Mental problems, right, Dad?
Chief Strade: Don’t know if you’d call them mental problems. She got eccentric over the years, but at one time she must have been pretty normal. They say she was engaged to one of the most eligible bachelors in Echo Falls.
Ingrid: Who was that?
Chief Strade: Phillip Prescott.
Ingrid: Of Prescott Hall?
Chief Strade: Yup, the last of the Prescotts.
Ingrid: The one who took off for Alaska?
Chief Strade: How’d you know that?
Joey: Ingrid’s Alice in the Wonderland play.
Ingrid: My dad told me.
Chief Strade: That’s the story. Long before my time, of course. This must have been thirty years ago or so. I was a kid back then, younger than you two.
Ingrid: Here in Echo Falls?
Chief Strade: Oh, no. Thirty years ago I would have been in Germany. Army brat. They say her problems started up after he disappeared.
Ingrid: He just took off for Alaska? Out of the blue?
Chief Strade: He wrote a farewell letter to The Echo. We found it among her effects, saved all these years.
Ingrid: What did it say?
Joey: Read it out loud.
Ingrid: “My friends, this may come as a surprise, but after our wonderful production of Dial M for Murder, I feel a sudden and very deep need to refresh myself. My plans take me far away, to Alaska or even beyond. I want honest physical work, space, a chance to work things out in my head. Please don’t think badly of me. Sincerely, Phillip Prescott.”
Joey: That’s so weird.
Chief Strade: What do you think, Ingrid?
Ingrid: Yeah, it’s weird.
Joey: He never came back?
Chief Strade: Nope, never heard from again.
Joey: What happened to all his money?
Chief Strade: I wondered about that so I called old Mr. Samuels over at The Echo. If there’s an Echo Falls historian, it’s Mr. Samuels. Seems there wasn’t much Prescott money left by then. They hadn’t really worked for a generation or two. What was left behind got used up in maintenance and taxes over the years. Wash up, Joe. I’ll take Ingrid home.
Ingrid: What’s Dial M for Murder about?
Chief Strade: No idea. Let me guess—you want to be an actress too.
Ingrid: I don’t know what I want to be yet.
Chief Strade: Give a thought to criminology.
Narrator: Ingrid follows Chief Strade’s advice and decides to look into the mystery of Cracked-Up Katie’s death. A blossoming romance, lead role in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, soccer, and grounding keep Ingrid busy, but she does manage to find Katie’s murderer, and almost her own. Follow Ingrid’s investigation by reading Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams.