The Three "R's"

Ramblings, Reflections, Reviews … From the "Pen" of William Land

The Silence in the Library: A Review

THE SILENCE IN THE LIBRARYsilence-library-01
by Miranda James
(The Cat in the Stacks; 5)
5 out of 5 stars
Read: December 14, 2014
Review: February 27, 2017

This review is from a lifetime fan and collector of children’s series books including Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Belden and their contemporaries. I eagerly devoured this novel because a fictional teen sleuth series plays a huge part in this novel.

This story is a very well-plotted murder mystery surrounding an author who wrote girl sleuth mysteries featuring Veronica Thane. The series author, Electra Barnes Cartwright, presumed dead but very much alive, has five unpublished manuscripts. She has agreed to make a rare appearance at a public library celebration of children’s series books which series hero, Charlie Harris, is helping to organize.

The news of this anticipated author’s appearance delights some collectors who will do anything for a rare copy of a book or an autograph. Charlie, a librarian/archivist and a long-time Veronica Thane fan, is beginning to think that this author visit might be a bad idea when someone dies. Can he figure out what happened?

Over the course of this book, readers are treated to the first few chapters of the very first Veronica Thane mystery. “Miranda James” (a pen name for series collector Dean James), has perfectly captured the flavor and style of the bygone juvenile series genre. At times, a little over the top even for the genre, but it is entertaining. There are numerous references to actual children’s series titles, mainly Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Mystery readers who grew up reading the genre will be delighted.

Elements from the teen sleuth genre are incorporated into the novel. This book is definitely a murder mystery, but the plot brings in enough other elements, sometimes as red herrings and sometimes as real clues, providing a change of pace from similar cozies.

A reader does not need fond memories of childhood series books to enjoy this story, but those who have spent hours in the company of young detectives will truly enjoy this trip down memory lane.


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