Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mystery back of the Mountain by Mary C. Jane

This one is selected from my stack of rather grimy old Scholastic mysteries, which I like to dip into on occasion. It's a typical Mary C. Jane story, containing plenty of mystery and a "character issue."

In this case, Anne never seems to be able to make friends or be as popular as her outgoing older brother, Stevie. When their father inherits an old farmhouse, the children are first excited and then dismayed when they discover how the neighbors detested their deceased distant relative. Their dislike seems to have passed down onto Anne's family and her parents quickly plan to sell the house. But first, there are a series of mysteries to solve - a missing painting, mysterious howling, and the strange behavior of the girl next door.

Verdict: Plenty of shivers up the spine, although nothing too scary for a younger reader, and a tidy conclusion to the narrative, with a brisk moral for Anne's social difficulties. Not my favorite of the Scholastic mysteries, but a decent read.

ISBN: N/A; Published 1974 by Scholastic; Received through Bookmooch

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