Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: Shroud of the Lion by Sigmund Brouwer (Accidental Detectives #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in a fun and confusing mystery
Cons: There aren't more new adventures
The Bottom Line:
Usual standards
Are met once again in this
Final new story

Lights!  Camera!  Danger!

Shroud of the Lion, book five of the reissued Accidental Detectives, is the final new adventure. Let me explain.

Ricky Kidd and his friends and family were originally introduced in a series of 13 books during the early 90's. After the series went out of print, author Sigmund Brouwer found a new publisher for it. Not only did they reissue the original 13 books, but they also published three new mysteries. And you'd better believe this fan of the series rushed out and bought them. The fact that they are aimed at pre-teens didn't bother me in the least because they are outstanding mysteries.

Ricky and his friends are thrilled to be invited to stay with famous movie star Jericho Stone and be extras in his new movie. The fact that Ricky's annoying little brother Joel is tagging along doesn't even dampen their enthusiasm. That is, until they reach LA. Within minutes of arriving, they've been kidnapped. Jericho's assurances that it was a mistake just raise more questions. And why are their kidnappers hanging around the set? Ricky is convinced something is up. But can he figure it out and keep his friends safe?

So what makes these books so special? Let me try to explain. First up are the characters. On the surface, they might seem slightly stereotypes, but once you get into the book, you'll see they are real people. Granted, they may not be as fleshed out as characters in adult novels, but they are some of the best characters in a kid's series I have ever run across. And that goes for the adults, too. And the characters have a sense of humor I love. I laughed out loud several times over the course of the book.

Then there's the mystery. The story grabbed me in chapter one and didn't let me go until the final page. I was confused up until the very end. Yet, as always with this series, the clues were there and the solution was perfectly logical.

Then there's the theme of faith. Yes, this is a Christian series. Yet the book never stops to preach. The Christianity and theme are as much a part of the story as the clues and characters. And the book made me stop and think with what it had to say.

Finally, there's the setting. While a few details have been changed, I got a kick out of reading about Los Angeles since I recognized several of the landmarks. Okay, so it won't mean as much to most people, but it made this book extra special for me.

The Accidental Detectives is a series I can read over and over again and enjoy just as much each time. Shroud of the Lion has certainly worked its way into that rotation. It has fun and suspense in one convenient package. What more could you want?

Well, maybe you'll want more of Ricky's adventures.  If that's the case, here are the Accidental Detectives Mysteries in order.

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