Title: Mystery of the Missing BraceletsMystery of the Missing Bracelets
Author: Dorothy Martin
Pages: 123
Reading Level: 8-10
Star Rating: ★★★

Missing jewelry? Oh, yeah!

The Story.

Vickie is so excited that Christmas break has finally arrived! She’s looking forward to spending extra time with Diane, who so kindly befriended her when she and her family moved to town just five months ago. This is going to be one amazing vacation!

And then comes the call that Betty Lou, one of Vickie’s old friends, is coming to stay for the Christmas break while her father is in the hospital from an automobile accident. Vickie thinks it’s a great idea – what could be better than having both of her best friends together? – but her opinion changes when she witnesses Diane’s thinly veiled animosity towards Betty Lou. Why is Diane behaving this way?

Things get even worse when Diane’s mother’s bracelets are stolen and Anna, Diane and Vickie’s housekeeper, is accused of the crime. Can Vickie sort out the clues and prove who is really guilty? And can she unravel the tension between Betty Lou and Diane?

Discussion.

Okay. Well, as far as characters go, Mystery of the Missing Bracelts wasn’t so bad. Their motivations and behavior seem pretty realistic, if a little exaggerated. Also, I appreciated the fact that although Mrs. Martin is a Christian, Christianity’s presence in the story wasn’t sappy. On the contrary, I thought it actually fit really well.

See, Vickie’s family is not Christian. But Vickie’s father has started reading the Bible and is becoming really interested in what it has to say about life. However, because this is one book in a series, Mrs. Martin wisely didn’t have everybody convert by the end of the story – instead, a few of the characters hearts are softened towards Christianity, but none of them is actually Christian. I would anticipate this to change over the course of the series, but I have to give her credit for this book at least.

Vickie’s parents get along very well, but Diane comes from a broken home. As Vickie watches the effect of Diane’s parents’ divorce on Diane, and even sees her mother return home drunk one night, she realizes how blessed she is to have parents who care for one another. Also, Vickie’s older sister, Francine, is seeing a man named Peter and while her parents don’t try to control this relationship, Francine asks their advice on several occasions.

Now, as to the actual mystery. I’m sorry to say that anyone who has the remotest idea of what foreshadowing is could see the ending to this story from a mile – or fourteen – away. It was really, really obvious, and I don’t think it’s just because I wasn’t the intended age level. I might have followed the bunny trails with more attention at a younger age, but I wouldn’t have been fooled.

The story is centered around the celebration of Christmas, and this involves setting up trees and buying presents. Vickie’s father is interested in the nativity story and reads it aloud to the family, but they don’t appreciate its full significance.

Conclusion. I’m going to try to find other books in this series to see how the characters progress. As a stand alone, though, it’s fine.

Review © 2015 Laura Verret

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