Katryn Bury author photo

I met Katryn Bury at a recent author event and as soon as I learned of her Drew Leclair detective series, I knew I had to feature it. I mean, who doesn’t love a good middle grade mystery?


Drew Leclair Gets a Clue coverIn this modern take on Harriet the Spy , twelve-year-old Drew uses her true crime expertise to catch the cyberbully in her school—only to discover that family, friendship, and identity are the hardest mysteries to solve. Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She’s pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor’s missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues? Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it’s only a matter of time before Drew’s secret is out. Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?



Drew Leclair Crushes the Case coverAfter breaking school rules the last time she solved a mystery, Drew Leclair has a new mission: get good grades, stay under the radar, and do not get suspended.

But when Drew finds out that there’s a thief breaking into the P.E. lockers and leaving behind cryptic ransom notes, it’s hard to resist cracking a new case. Especially when one of the victims is her best friend Shrey’s crush, and he’s practically begging her to get involved.

Can Drew catch the thief red-handed while staying out of trouble? And what does it mean when everyone around Drew is obsessing over crushes and the upcoming Wonderland dance, and Drew would rather work on her latest crime board?


Where/when did your fascination with true crime originate?

Much like Drew Leclair, my fascination with true crime started preternaturally young, and was something that I shared with my own dad. We also would have our own version of Sam’s “murder and mayhem” nights, and spent long nights trying to solve the famous cold case of Jack the Ripper. I think that my dad (like me) was a very anxious person, and there’s an interesting benefit to watching true crime when you’re an anxious person. A big part of anxiety is a lack of control over these looming bad things that might happen. Studying true crime felt like a way to regain control and imagine how we could outsmart a serial killer. Even if that control was imagined, it was oddly comforting.


That makes sense! Your Drew Leclair series has been praised for blending realistic feelings/problems with a mystery to solve. How were you able to delve so deeply into what Drew was experiencing?

Other than Drew’s confidence, I have a lot in common with her. Even aside from the true crime aspect, I share Drew’s chronic illnesses, and was also starting to realize I liked boys and girls around this age. While I didn’t suffer parental abandonment as Drew does (in fact, I have to mention how great my mom is at every book event!), I did experience long-term, systemic bullying as a child. I would often look back on the experience and wonder what, if anything, I could have done to stand up for myself. With Drew, I wanted to write a character who had the tools to keep bullies at bay and who had the courage to tell the school that they were letting down the victims of bullying. Bullying is such a global experience for many middle schoolers, and I really wanted to address it in a way that felt like a guidebook to students going through it. That being said, I don’t suggest writing criminal profiles on your fellow students!


Ha, yes, that might backfire!  Your upcoming book, We Are Not Alone has an expected publication on October 29, 2024. Is there anything you can tell us about it yet?

Yes! I’m so excited about this book, and can’t wait to share Sam’s story with the world. Here’s the recently released copy blurb: After his best friend dies, cancer survivor Sam is given a notebook filled with his friend’s mysterious theories about the universe, which sends loner Sam and popular girl Cat on a journey to find the secrets of the unknown—only to discover that the answers are closer than they think. I’ve long been wanting to write about the “after” of cancer, because – as a cancer survivor myself – I found the way that people talk about cancer to be so limiting. It’s usually framed in two ways: you have cancer, or you don’t have cancer – meaning that you won and everything is okay! The reality is so much more nuanced. With We Are Not Alone, I wanted to write a character that has struggled with mortality in a way so few children do, but then has to go back to his regular life as if it never happened. That struggle leaves you with so many worries and questions – and ones that most of your classmates couldn’t possibly understand. I’m in a rare position as someone who both survived cancer and had my best friend die from cancer at the age of thirteen. So I felt uniquely positioned to tell this story.


It sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and I’m sure many kids (and parents!) are benefitting from your stories! What are some of your current projects?

Oh, so many! I’m mostly not allowed to say, because plots might change (and also I don’t want to jinx myself!) but I will say that I’m hoping to build a career for myself both in the middle grade and adult space.


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