The Voice from the Mendelsohn's Maple

Mary C. Ryan, Author Little Brown and Company $13.95 (132p) ISBN 978-0-316-76360-8
Eighth grader Penny Eagan's dull summer suddenly perks up when she encounters elderly Katherine Cooper stuck high up in a neighbor's tree without a notion of how she got there. After being rescued, Miss Cooper introduces Penny to her friends at Beacon Hall, a senior citizens' residence. But something's troubling the group: they frequently exhibit bizarre, animal-like behavior, without any recollection of it afterwards. Penny takes to sleuthing in the manner of her favorite mystery-novel heroine and exposes the culprit responsible for the mayhem. The story, already short on suspense, falls flat because Ryan breaks one of the cardinal rules of mystery writing by introducing the malefactor near the story's end. Characterizations are only skin-deep, and the story in general is too pat. Also, Ryan's gimmick of defining words in Miss Cooper's vocabulary quickly grows stale. Frankie's Run , the author's first novel, still stands as the best showcase of her talents. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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