Chase to the Finish


The last day of the school year could also mark the end of Mrs. Kennedy’s 27-year teaching career, if she raises the rest of the money she needs to buy her Lake Eden dream house. When former student Brian Kelly gives her a $10,000 check early that morning, confidence is high—until the gift turns up missing hours before her deadline to make the down payment. Fifth-grader Chase Manning needs to work quickly to save the day for his favorite teacher. Suspense, drama, and excitement overflow from the pages of this single-day, real-time mystery thriller. 

About the Chase Manning Mystery Series

The Chase Manning Mystery Series features single-day, real-time thrillers that occur on an elementary school campus. Written for readers 8-12 years of age by National Board Certified Teacher Steve Reifman, the series launched with the award-winning Chase Against Time, in which fifth grader Chase Manning must investigate the mysterious disappearance of the cello that the school plans to auction off to save its prestigious music program. Chase Against Time and its sequels, Chase for Home and Chase Under Pressure have enjoyed rave reviews from children, parents, and teachers. Young readers love the books' fast-paced, action-packed format while parents and teachers appreciate the kid-friendly tone and content. Chase is now back in the eagerly anticipated fourth installment, Chase to the Finish.

Note for Elementary School Teachers and Parents

Chase Against Time, Chase for Home, Chase Under Pressure and Chase to the Finish are Level Q on the Fountas & Pinnell scale. All four books are ideally suited to be used as read alouds and mentor texts during Reading Workshop units on mystery and “edge-of-seat” fiction because they include numerous examples of end-of-chapter cliffhangers, red herrings, suspects, motives, and other important mystery elements. If you are interested in teaching children how to craft their own mysteries, check out Steve’s e-book, The Ultimate Mystery Writing Guide for Kids.


What Readers Are Saying

  • “Captures readers and pulls them in.” -Walter M.
  • “I couldn't stop reading!” -Lincoln J.
  • “This is the best Chase mystery yet! The tension keeps on mounting.” -Petra P.
  • “Cliffhangers, humor, and perfect elaboration. Chase Manning has EVERYTHING a good book should have.” -Sadie H.
  • “My mind was racing.” -Griffin S.
  • “So many exciting twists and turns! Another amazing installment in the Chase Manning series. I could not out the book down until I was finished.” -Aiden L.
  • “A great mystery.” -Aerin D.
  • “Chase Manning books are the best.” -Samantha F.
  • “I loved it.” -Elsie L.
  • “If you like suspenseful and thrilling books, this is the book to read.” -Dylan N.
  • “Intense and funny.” -Danielle Lopez


Book Talks & Book Signing Events

Steve has held many Book Talk and Book Signing Events at public libraries, elementary schools, and private homes since the release of Chase Against Time; During these 30-45 minute book talks, Steve describes the process of writing his mystery books, shares his original notes and outlines, encourages children to pursue their own writing projects, offers instructional strategies and suggestions, and concludes with a question and answer period. Steve is also available for classroom Skype visits. To arrange an event, please e-mail Steve.