Thursday, December 19, 2019

#Throwback Thursday- The Mystery Box

McAlpine, Gordon. The Mystery Box
September 16th 2003 by Cricket Books
Library copy

Frank Dixon is beyond shattered when his brother Joe is reported killed in World War I, and later thought to be missing as a deserter. He leaves Bayport for Paris, where he sets up a private detective business while searching for his brother. At the same time, a young Carolyn Keene is driven from her home by the very young fiance of her father; she could have stayed, but she wants her father to be happy. The two end up meeting not only each other, but a variety of expat authors from the US-- Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Pasos. There are some light mysteries which the two solve, but this is more of a portrait of a time and place through the eyes of people who never existed... but should have.
Strengths: As far as interesting premises go, this one definitely takes the cake. It's also wonderfully atmostpheric in an All That Heaven Allows sort of way. This has a very specific audience-- bright readers who have read all of Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys but also do well with historical fiction.
Weaknesses: This is more of an adult novel, and does have some mention of drinking as well as some mentions of sex, but nothing overly graphic.
What I really think: I wouldn't buy this for my library today, but I don't really want to get rid of the copy I have, either!

This is still available from Follett!
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. I never heard of this book (you are a treasure trove of interesting fiction), but I think I have to read it. Now I know how one of your students feels when you hand the just the right book. Thanks for brightening an otherwise gloomy morning.