Monday, April 19, 2010

Mystery Book Review: The Case of the Haunted Haunted House by Lewis B. Montgomery

Mysterious Reviews: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller and Crime Novel Reviews, edited by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Milo & Jazz Mysteries

The Kane Press (Trade Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1-57565-295-1 (1575652951)
ISBN-13: 978-1-57565-295-5 (9781575652955)
Publication Date: July 2009
List Price: $6.95

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The Case of the Haunted Haunted House by Lewis B. Montgomery
Buy The Case of the Haunted Haunted House by Lewis B. Montgomery

Review: Milo and Jazz's grade school class comes up with an idea to host a haunted house for their community's Spring Thing, but the building they choose to use for the event may indeed be haunted in The Case of the Haunted Haunted House, the third early chapter mystery in this series by Lewis B. Montgomery and illustrated by Amy Wummer.

Milo and Jazz are detectives in training, who receive lessons in the mail from world-famous private eye Dash Marlowe and apply them to real-life mysteries. And they have one on their hands now! A temporary building on school grounds, which hasn't been used recently, is selected as the site of the class's haunted house. But word gets out that the building is inhabited by a spooky ghost, who can be seen at night prowling around. Milo and Jazz are skeptical. Jazz thinks it's just her older brother spreading false rumors; she has a bet with him on which of their classes can raise the most money ... and this is his way of steering people, especially kids from the younger grades, away from the haunted house. But when Milo and Jazz go exploring one night they see a mysterious light moving about in the abandoned school building. Could it really be haunted?

The Case of the Haunted Haunted House starts a tad slowly but builds up to an exciting finish. The lesson from Dash Marlowe involves using motive to solve a case, so Milo and Jazz go about putting themselves in the shoes (not literally, of course!) of their three primary suspects: Jazz's brother, a classmate who likes to play practical jokes, and another classmate who may be angry because her idea for the Spring Thing wasn't chosen. It's an effective way of introducing kids to deductive reasoning ... and a pretty good mystery too!

Like the previous books in the series, the final pages are filled with some really clever brain teasers. Though the book is intended for young readers, ages 5 to 7 or so, the puzzles at the end may be a little too challenging for them -- but that's a good thing, as it will help develop critical thinking skills. Parents may want to sit down with their children and help them work through the logic, as needed.

Special thanks to The Kane Press for providing a copy of The Case of the Haunted Haunted House for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

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Synopsis (from the publisher): A ghost? At school? Detective duo Milo and Jazz have their hands full when they find out their class’s “haunted house” might really be haunted!

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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