Skylar in Yankeeland: A Mystery

Gregory Mcdonald, Author
Gregory Mcdonald, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-688-14164-6
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
There's mystery in this second Skylar adventure, but readers must dig through a huge helping of cornpone to find it. Skylar Whitfield, a strapping Tennessee farmboy, is said to radiate sexy charm. Beneath the bumpkin exterior, of course, he is supposedly one smart feller. We are often told of these attributes, but Skylar shows little evidence of them. When he ventures north to study trumpet at a Boston music school, he visits wealthy kinfolk nearby. Upscale and uptight, they wince at his uninhibited folksiness. Told that a cobblestone driveway dates from the 18th century, Skylar says: ""Time it got tore up, wouldn't you say?"" When the family jewelry disappears from a safe, Skylar is suspected. His one big fan in the family, 12-year-old Ginny, vanishes when she becomes a suspect in the shooting death of a playmate. Because Skylar's role in solving the late-blooming mysteries is almost nil, he seems to have no purpose in the story other than to gush country-cousin cliches and provide sexual diversion for a couple of unnecessary characters. Mcdonald is a two-time Edgar winner and author of several bestsellers, including the Fletch and Flynn series. His admirers deserve better than this Southern fried mistake. (Jan.)
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