THE VANDEMARK MUMMY by Cynthia Voigt

THE VANDEMARK MUMMY

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In her first mystery since The Callender Papers (1983), a Newbery winner spins an entertaining tale concerning the abduction of a mummy that is part of a controversial bequest to "Vandemark College" in Maine. As the newest appointee in classical languages, Sam Hall--a self-effacing ex-high-school teacher--is, by the terms of a quirky will, the curator of an Egyptian collection left by a scion of the college's founder. Competent and possessed of a fine sense of humor, Sam has just arrived with his kids: protagonist Phineas, 12, who is also modestly prone to underestimate his gifts, and Althea, 15, who's avidly studying Greek so that she can read Sappho. Mom has just taken a high-power job in Oregon, causing all three to focus quietly, but painfully, on their family dynamics, thus providing depth to the characterizations and an additional dimension to what is essentially a lively mystery: Which of the several more broadly sketched suspects who turned up dissatisfied at the unveiling could have staged a fake break-in followed by a real heist, and why? Suspense builds when Althea vanishes, and Phineas, after some clever deductions, finds her in the nick of time. Lightweight (as intended), compared to most of Voigt's books, but neatly plotted and thoroughly satisfying. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1991
ISBN: 0-689-31476-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991




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