cover image Mystery of the Night Raiders

Mystery of the Night Raiders

Nancy Garden. Farrar Straus Giroux, $14 (167pp) ISBN 978-0-374-35221-9

This is the first Monster Hunters Case, a book that exhibits Garden's talent for spooky tales. Brian's visit to his grandparents' farm isn't as carefree as in the past; the cows are dropping dead of unknown causes, which could bring on financial ruin. A Sherlock Holmes fan, Brian hopes to discover the killer and is joined by Mumbles, a scientist, and Darcy, an impetuous athlete. None of them is prepared for the possibility that something supernatural is behind the deaths of the cows, until it looks as if Brian has become the next dish on a vampire's menu. The story falters only once, when the sleuths outwit the vampires too neatly. After an eerie and suspenseful build-upand a beautifully evoked Vermont settingthe ending may disappoint but will not dissuade readers from seeking out Monster Hunters Case #2. Ages 10-up. (October)