Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

June 12, 2009

Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour

By Michael Biel
Rating: 4 stars

Sophie, Rebecca, Leigh Ann and Margaret all attend St. Veronica's in Manhattan. When Sophie spies a face in the church window next door, she and her friends end up finding an older woman with a mystery. A card meant for the woman's estranged daughter from her grandfather from 20 years ago may lead to a priceless treasure that was meant as a Christmas gift. The problem is the card is a clue, which leads to more puzzling clues. Can the girls figure out the clues to find a treasure hidden for years? With some nefarious characters lurking and a helpful English teacher, the girls find more than they bargained for. The story also forays into some of Sophie's romantic inclinations towards a boy who now seems more than a friend and into some of the problems facing her friends and their families. The dialogue is funny and witty and the story is fairly fast-paced. The puzzles even include a bit of math, and readers may be tempted to try and solve some of the clues themselves (once the math is explained!). Fans will look forward to another mystery for the Red Blazer Girls.

June 02, 2009

Hannah's Winter

By Kierin Meehan
Rating: 4 stars

"And remember always: Blue for safety, yellow is warning, red means danger." In this unusual mystery, Hannah has come to spend the winter in Japan while her mother does some touring for work. She is staying with Japanese family friends and one day the father receives a box from a friend that contains an old card game and toys from a long ago time as well as a mysterious sounding riddle. The arrival of these items trigger the ghost of a boy named Kai who begins haunting Hannah and whom Hannah and Miki quickly relate to the mysterious riddle. With the help of neighbor Hiro, the kids begin unraveling the clues in the riddle, which takes them to different historical sites throughout the city of Kanazawa and encounters with more ghosts and secrets. Can a few kids help a ghost finally find peace? A very interesting and suspenseful mystery in a unique setting, where the past and the present of Japan merge.