Top positive review
47 people found this helpful
Creative, Clean, Cute, and Cunning
on April 24, 2000
I'm ecstatic with my recent discovery of Ron Roy's A-to-Z-Mysteries. In the first installment, the Absent Author, we meet the young team of accidental sleuths: the well read and thoughtful Dink (that's Donald David Duncan when his mother means business); neighbor Ruth Rose (who dresses in pink, utilizes keen powers of observation, and initiates the climactic discovery); and best friend Josh (whose appetite, comic relief, and quick thinking rounds out the team). Confronted with the disappearance of their favorite author (Wallis Wallace), the trio assembles clues, follows leads, and eventually unravels the mystery. Early readers will appreciate the young detectives' savvy in piecing together the seemingly complex puzzle. Parents and teachers will notice the author's skillful portrayal of young people's mature interaction with both their peers and a broad spectrum of adult characters. Author Roy lays a clear trail of clues, steadily reinforces key discoveries, and cleanly closes the circle in less than 90 pages (including a fair smattering of helpful black and white drawings). Fortunately, he also sprinkles humor throughout the dialogue that pleases both young and old readers. Parents frustrated by the counter-culture mentality that promotes Rugrats and South Park will appreciate that Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose respect adults (yet know when to question authority), speak clearly, read and think, care about others, and work together to achieve their goals -- it's refreshing for young readers to be exposed to inquisitive, well mannered role models. Try the Absent Author and, while you're at it, pick up the sequel, the Bald Bandit. My son is already clamoring for the Canary Caper, and I doubt we'll be disappointed.