Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: Creature of the Mists by Sigmund Brouwer (Accidental Detectives #6)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Wonderfully confusing mystery
Cons: Absolutely none
The Bottom Line:
A great mystery
For any who love genre
Full of twists and turns

Easily My Favorite of the Series

Many of the Accidental Detectives series are excellent mysteries. But one stands head and shoulders above the others as the best in the series. Creature of The Mists is that book.

Keep in mind this is a mystery series aimed at 10-14 year olds. The main character, Ricky Kidd, is 14 himself. But he is one smart kid. He regularly pieces together puzzles that would confuse many an adult. Trust me, he often gets me.

Ricky is joined in his adventures by his best friends Mike Andrews and Ralphy Zee. Rounding out the foursome is Lisa Higgins whom all the guys have a crush on, not that they'll admit it to anyone including themselves. Ricky has an annoying younger brother, Joel, who seems to get involved in these adventures as well.

This particular story finds the gang heading to British Columbia to search for the mythological creature Ogopogo. Thanks to Ralphy, they've won a trip aboard a new research boat that should prove once and for all if this relative of Loch Ness exists or not. The teens are thrilled because it seems like the perfect thing to break up summer vacation.

But they've hardly left before things start going wrong. Joel sneaks on board, and their search for him turns up dynamite set to explode that night. The mystery only deepens when they arrive. Can Ricky put the pieces together in time to spare his friends' lives.

When this series is at the top of its game, the clues are out in the open, yet I miss them until Ricky is summing things up for his friends at the end. This book is a perfect example of that. To further complicate things, Ricky changes his mind about what is happening several times, making us all the more confused.

I've always loved the book despite the error. You see, the book was first published in the early 90's, and that dynamite I mentioned earlier was dropped. In fact, after they found it, it was never mentioned again, making me wonder who planted it and why. (There were two very good theories. Honest.) At one point, I even e-mailed the author about it. I never heard back. When the series started being reprinted about five years ago, I looked forward to seeing if it would be explained. It is. So now there are no issues at all with the book.

So far, I've been focused on the plot, but that's doesn't mean the characters are weak. All of them, both series regulars and new characters, are strong. In fact, that makes the mystery even harder to solve. Ricky and his friends are always teasing each other, and there are several laugh out loud moments here as well.

This is a Christian series, yet it never preaches. There are a couple interesting discussions on science and the Bible here that really do add to the story.

I recommend this series to anyone who likes a good mystery story. It's equally fun for kids and adults. And you won't find a better place to jump into the series then Creature of The Mists.

And once you've started reading, you'll want to read all of the Accidental Detectives Mysteries in order.

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