The answer

When notes are newly written and “young”, they have wings and can fly. As they get older they lose their wings and grow arms and legs. Hence all detectives go to flying school in order to chase and catch young notes that fly out of their music for some reason.

In The Case of the Flying Note, and The Secret at Willow Wail, Detective Reed chases some of these fleeing notes. Quite the adventure!


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Off we go!

So the question is why did Detective Reed learn how to fly? Can you guess? If you read The Case of the Flying Note you would know BUT perhaps you can guess by the title. HINT. The flying note was a newly written note. Need more of a hint in the next post?


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THE BOOKS:  ( click on any book to read a sample)

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Musical Tales is for your child or a friend or relative’s child (8 – 11) who- likes to read fantasy stories
– loves to draw and create characters
– is interested in music




The Case of the Flying Note: A Detective Reed Mystery :  FN cover for site

Join Detective Reed on his musical mystery adventure. Enjoy this imaginative tale as the detective chases a note that has flown from its music!

In this story, everything is music based and readers learn about many aspects of music as they zoom along with the detective.

Come fly through a magic portal into clouds of lost quarter notes. Adventure inside a snoring bugle horn and into a forest of rests. Soar deep within an underground music academy where Detective Reed escapes from the shooting arrows of C sharps and witness a rare gathering of violins! Join the detective when the flying note reveals the real reason it left its music.

The themes of this story:
– the importance of knowing who you really are
– it is OK to accept help from others
– finishing creative projects is important and great fun!

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The Secret of Willow Wail: A Detective Reed Mystery.  perf6.000x9.000.indd

Harold is writing the music for an upcoming show, but when he takes a break, some of the music flies away! Detective Reed is called in to help bring the music back before Harold returns. But where did the notes go?

The detective, with his key and best friend Glissando, follows clues all over Sound City before finally catching up with Harold’s notes and discovering the secret of Willow Wail!

Author, musician, teacher, Alice Cotton, does it again with this new fanciful musical adventure. Young readers are drawn into the excitement of the story of Willow Wail as they learn.

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When Buildings Speak is a book for the friend or relative who  A When Buildings cover

– loves architecture
– lives in Oregon
–  is interested in architectural history
– enjoys detailed pen and ink art
* Book samples are here.

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Wrong Notes is a book of quotes about how making performance mistakes (mostly WN front covrmusical ones) offers new ways of looking at mistakes. This book is designed specifically for music teachers, friends or students, whether performing or in practice, to help calm their fears about making mistakes!  Alice’s accomplice, Mary Kogen, world renowned music and Taketina teacher, helped develop, collect and organize these quotes.

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Leaps of Imagination is for the friend or relative (or get it for yourself!) who needs some creative inspiration. It is filled newest Leaps frontwith quotes about the imagination by many creative and famous people with illustrations by Alice Cotton. Alice’s accomplice, Mary Kogen, world renowned music and Taketina teacher, helped collect and organize these quotes in hopes of supporting all creative efforts. For an example click on the INSPIRING QUOTE BOOKS link above.

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All My Treasures speaks to the children within us. These are IMG_1471the places where fantasy lives and children play. Where the human mind can linger within the sound of leaves brushing against the wind. The places where surprise and inspiration join hands in their escape from indifference.

A poster set of ten of each of these powerful quotes with their accompanying illustrations are available in the store below. For an example click on the INSPIRING QUOTE BOOKS link above.

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In Search of a Friend is for the very young  who are learning about friendship.


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BOOK REVIEWS of Musical Tales

By Sherry P. Todd , president of Tualatin Valley OMTA
(Oregon Music Teachers Association)

  • Fun, easy to read fantasy with whimsical characters who drop little musical terms and tidbits along the way. Perfect for a read out loud or middle grade 2-3-4 read alone book. I bought a bunch as gifts for adult music teachers and their students to enjoy!


By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2017

My children and I love this book! It is fun, creative and educational!

By P. Goldberg , musician/artist
Beautiful, sweet and wonderfully illustrated.

By Michelle Rae, age 14
Great book for children and adults! Super cool illustrations! Greatly recommended!!!

By Alexandria Weinbrecht, book editor

This book offers a delightful and fun way for children to learn about music within the context of a well-written story and colorful illustrations. A wonderful book, highly recommended!


All of these books are available at the store below:

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Hi everyone!
Alice Cotton here! writing and illustrating fantasy books for children, their teachers and their families.
CLICK:  background to see some of the things I’ve done as an architectural artist and an illustrator.
Click: classes to see my math artistry classes for elementary and home schooled children.

I  also taught math artistry and architectural art classes to higher level  school and college level students.
AND, very important, I  worked  as a musician, playing lead guitar and singing (ever see a female lead guitar player? We are everywhere!)me performing 12

And don’t worry I did receive a firm educational foundation in music (theory and classical piano) at the Cleveland Institute of Music which is integral to each storybook.

Join the fun!


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