Posted for Pamela:
Title: The Holmes and Watson Mysterious Events and Objects Consortium: The Case of the Witch's Talisman
Author: Elmore Hammes
Price: $21.95, hardback; $14.49, paperback
Publisher: Kanapolis Fog Publishing Emporium/Lulu Press
Point of Sale: Lulu
In a time long ago, a wizard holds in his hands the life of an evil witch. Before his chant to banish her forever completes, she escapes. Present day, two children stumble upon an amulet lying by a creek. One scrapes her knee on the metal disk, depositing just enough blood to form a link between her and the amulet. The amulet, or talisman, links to another so evil that even small animals and children are in danger.
Kevin Williams and Ginny Davis are best friends. At twelve years old, they still partake in imaginative adventures brought about by summer, free of school assignments and curfews. With a tree house serving as their home base, Kevin and Ginny store treasures there, discovered during their journeys, then logging daily those items while noting their experiences into a journal. On one such adventure, they discover a dead squirrel. Intent on burying it they locate a box only to find it gone when they return – vanished. Searching for it, they come across Mrs. Crabapple accusing them of putting a dead rabbit in her yard. With the animal in the box, Kevin and Ginny head towards Sharper’s Woods to bury it. While digging its tiny grave, the rabbit disappears too. Puzzled, the kids decide to unravel their first summer mystery as Holmes and Watson.
Even with its lengthy title, “The Holmes and Watson Mysterious Events and Objects Consortium: The Case of the Witch's Talisman” is a memorable story, captivating young readers with the misguided adventures of two pre-teens. When not sorting out a mystery or following the trail of a new discovery, Kevin and Ginny encounter normal childhood trials: dodging town bullies, not fitting in, and the onset of puberty that incites an attraction towards the opposite sex, which even best friends cannot deny.
Boys within Kevin’s age group view him as weak, preferring books over sports. However, he does show that being book smart has advantages as he can sink a basketball ten times in a row. His repeating the exact same throw, each time guarantees success; also, his father is a Physics teacher. Ginny refuses to submit to the torment that her friend tolerates. Standing her ground with firm conviction to treat her fairly or suffer her wrath, reason why the boys refrain from tormenting Kevin when Ginny is in his company.
Their friendship is based on honesty and compassion, forming a strong bond between the two adolescences. However, throughout the story Kevin and Ginny wrestle with their growing attraction towards one another. Confused by the changing direction of their friendship and teasing from their parents only fuels their unease.
The dialog and story line is simple, though the suspenseful mystery makes for an engrossing read, even for someone in their forties – like me. Mr. Hammes sends clear messages to his young readers, as one young boy voluntarily walks the elderly Mrs. Crabapple home, since it’s late at night. Another is the wholesome homes both Kevin and Ginny hail from, where parents and children equally respect one another. Although, Kevin’s mother is absent throughout this story.
At every turn, Kevin and Ginny find mysteries in everything they do. While cleaning off their soda fight in the creek, their belongings are stolen. Digging up the lone footprint left behind, they follow the others until uncovering much of their lost items. These youngsters are quite ingenious. As they continue to look for the other missing items, someone else trails right behind them bringing danger closer and closer.
Reviewed by: In August of 2006, Pamela broke into book review writing with Erotic Escapades, but writes for The Erotic Bookworm, The Muse Book Reviews, Romance At Heart, and now POD People. Her own web site, Chewing the Bone exhibits book reviews in multilple genres, including children and young adult fiction. With all that she has going on Pamela finds time to dabble in flash-fic writing. Although, she doesn't aspire in becoming a published novelist, because it would take valuable time away from her first love... reading.