The Merry Muldoons and the Brighteyes Affair

Brooks McNamara, Author Orchard Books (NY) $14.95 (154p) ISBN 978-0-531-05454-3
A less than stellar vaudeville act, the family Muldoon--``fifteen minutes of the worst hokum anybody ever foisted on an unsuspecting public''--finds itself in the midst of a Keystone Kops-style caper revolving around a casket full of diamonds. Narrated by Sam, the sensible son, at the request of his madcap sister Vera, the story shows McNamara's affectionate knowledge of its setting--New York City's Bowery circa 1893. A theater historian, he dishes up cliffhanger after hyperbolic cliffhanger, but his story ends up moving too quickly--and includes too much flaccid characterization--for readers to savor his command of the era. Sam and Vera seem to hover indecisively between verisimilitude and the comic excesses of Lloyd Alexander's Vesper Holly, Sid Fleischmann's classic rapscallions, or the loony fugitives of Rex Benedict. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 154 pages - 978-0-531-08604-9
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