This book in the Highlights series is subtitled ‘Mystery Stories’.
1) Is Seeing Believing? in which Billy and Brian are certain they saw their new neighbors printing counterfeit money in their basement. Should they alert the police?
2) The Mysterious Cat Lady in which Nancy and Jill are selling peanuts door to door when they arrive at the house of the mysterious cat lady.
3) The Case of the Golden Opportunity in which Jack Huff receives a letter addressed to him which makes no sense … until he figures out that it was meant for a different Jack Huff! Can Jack track down the true recipient of the letter?
4) The Mysterious Visitor in which Allison accuses Shirley of ruining her papier-mache elephant. Can Shirley prove her innocence?
5) The Day Niagara Didn’t Fall in which Jed Morgan and his family are startled when the Niagra Falls disappear. Where did the water go? Will it ever come back?
6) Dan’s Treasure in which Dan sees a man burying a box by the side of the road. What does it contain? Does it have treasure in it?
7) The Case of…the Missing Skateboard in which the Tracy Fletcher Detective Agency is hired to find Angie Tom’s missing skateboard.
8) The Clue in the Zoo in which Larry and Susan discover a myna bird flying loose in the zoo. Who does the bird belong to?
9) The Midnight Mystery in which Jackson’s family is all set to move, but Jackson can’t find Midnight, his kitten. Where has Midnight gone? Will Jackson have to leave her behind?
10) The Elm Avenue Mystery in which mysterious chalk letters are appearing on the driveways in Jan’s neighborhood. Where are these letters coming from? And what do they mean?
11) Small Fry’s Discovery in which Mr. Spudster, the potato growing man, is running out of food and winter is setting in. Will Mr. Spudster find a way to replenish his stock?
12) The Red Purse Mystery in which Aaron and Anne are certain that they witnessed two teenage girls stealing a purse. But can they prove it?
13) The Great Samsoni in which Sam longs to perform tricks before an audience with his deck of magic cards. But he may find a far more useful purpose for them when he sees a little boy being kidnapped…
14) Mystery Morning in which sisters Jennifer, Julie, and Jackie decide to mystify their neighbors by anonymously performing acts of service for them.
15) The Valentine Mystery in which Benny has received five more valentines than there are people in his class. Who could they have come from?
16) Who Owns This Dog? in which Terry has found a dog and wants desperately to keep it. Will the true owner be found, or will Terry be allowed to claim him?
A little boy makes phone calls and watches a Broncos game on TV all day Sunday instead of attending church.
In one story, a little girl suggests that a woman can turn people into cats. Her fears are later disproven.
In one story, when chalk letters keep reappearing on the sidewalk, one person comments, “Wouldn’t surprise me if little green people from Mars were doing it.” It is later proven that they are the acts of a human.
One little boy wants to wind up his performance at a talent show by doing a magic trick – making a rabbit appear and using magic cards. In the end, he saves the day because he saw a little boy being kidnapped and arranged his cards in the order of the license plate number on the car which the kidnappers were driving. He reports the number to the police, and they are able to solve the case because of his information. This prompts his sister to say, “Wow, you really do know magic.”
Conclusion. Other than the one story The Great Samsoni and its continual reference to trick magic, this book is fine.
Review © 2013 Laura Verret