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MYSTERY AT BLUE RIDGE CEMETERY by Roxanne Heide Pierce

MYSTERY AT BLUE RIDGE CEMETERY

From the Spotlight Club Mysteries series

by Roxanne Heide Pierce, Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Sophie Escabasse

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8075-7695-3
Publisher: Whitman

After a long hiatus, the Spotlight Club Mysteries return with a new posthumous entry and a paperback reprint of another.

Blond siblings Cindy and Jay, of indeterminate age, and their neighbor Dexter, distinct mainly because he wears glasses, solve mysteries together in a fictional town so mild it could be a Beverly Cleary setting. However, whereas the physical safety of Klickitat Street exists to highlight emotional and developmental depth, Parry and Pierce’s town—Kenoska—houses whodunits (or what-is-its) that characters easily glide through, enthusiastic but free from disputes or sweat. In this world, adult strangers are no actual threat, and a child can pick up prescription medication. (In contrast, kid-made gravestone rubbings sell for $15 apiece. Really?) The kids bike around town between home and the cemetery, earning money to save a museum and forging connections among a wrought-iron bench, a missing locket, feuding adult sisters and a long-dead artist. Answers are too thin, results too perfect. A second title, publishing simultaneously, Mystery of the Bewitched Bookmobile, offers a bit more meat and interest—climbing into a bookmobile in the dark; decoding a painted sign—but feels even more dated due to old-fashioned telephone numbers and a librarian (Cindy’s role model) who wants nothing more than to be asked on a date.

White bread. Consider Jane O’Connor’s Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth (2012) instead. (Mystery. 7-10)