Monday, July 13, 2009

Mystery Book Review: The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El Caso de la Pluma Perdida by Rene Saldana, Jr.

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, is publishing a new review of The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El Caso de la Pluma Perdida by Rene Saldana, Jr. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El Caso de la Pluma Perdida by Rene Saldana, Jr.

by Rene Saldana, Jr.
A Mickey Rangel Mystery

Pinata Books (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-55885-555-6 (1558855556)
ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-555-7 (9781558855557)
Publication Date: May 2009
List Price: $9.95

Review: Are you trying to find a book that can settle you down in your favorite couch for a quick read? Then The Case of the Pen Gone Missing by René Saldaña, Jr. is a great book for you. This Mickey Rangel Mystery, the first in a series, is a bi-lingual book. The first half of the book is the English version, and the second half is the same story in Spanish. Mickey Rangel is a 5th grade investigator who is trying to find out the identity of the pen thief. Toots is an innocent girl, possibly the prettiest girl in the school, who is hearing rumors that she stole the pen, but she didn’t. So she turns to Mickey for help.

Toots finds herself in a jam and goes up to Mickey – a boy she has never spoken to before – and asks for his help getting her out of trouble. She tells him the story of the missing pen. This isn’t just an ordinary pen, but instead it is Eddy’s dad’s fancy pen that has the White House logo on it and President Lee Black’s signature. Mickey sits back drinking his Yoo-Hoo and listens to this beautiful girl. As soon as she finishes her story, Mickey sets out to find the thief and clear Toots’ name.

Overall, The Case of the Pen Gone Missing is a good book. The story is interesting and I wasn’t able to figure out the thief’s name too soon. Plus, I like the character Toots. She was funny and added a lot to the story. Mickey also is a good detective who will probably solve many more mysteries. I would have liked the book better, though if it was longer. I was able to read it in one sitting, so it felt more like a short story. I think the author could have had a stronger story and more developed characters if the book had been longer. But, it’s perfect for a quick read. I would recommend the book for elementary school students like myself who love mysteries about school.

Special thanks to Andrea Nauert for contributing her review of The Case of the Pen Gone Missing / El Caso de la Pluma Perdida and to Arte Público Press for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Andrea Nauert — All Rights Reserved — Reprinted with Permission

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Synopsis (from the publisher): When Toots Rodriguez approaches Mickey on the playground, he knows something is up. Toots, the prettiest girl in the fifth grade, never talks to Mickey, not even when they're assigned to work together on a class project. But Toots has come to Mickey because she's in trouble, and he's a detective. The real deal. He has a badge and a certificate after completing an online course two years ago.

''You have to believe me, Mickey. I didn't take that pen. I didn't.'' When Toots shines her big green eyes on him and insists repeatedly that she's innocent, Mickey's intuition tells him to run fast in the opposite direction. But he's a sucker for a pretty girl, so he takes on the case of the missing pen.

Rumor has it that Toots stole Eddy's pen. It's not just any old pen; it's his dad's pen. It has the White House logo on it. Eddy's father, a senator from South Texas, got the pen from the President of the United States when he visited the White House last year. As Mickey begins his investigation, though, all the clues point to Toots and her newly ex-boyfriend as the primary suspects.

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