Book Review: Mary Louise Solves A Mystery by Edith Van Dyne

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Ariella McManus
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Book Review: Mary Louise Solves A Mystery by Edith Van Dyne

Postby Ariella McManus » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:19 pm

Title of the book: Mary Lou Solves A Mystery
Authors:Edith Van Dyne
Series: The Bluebird Books
Genres: fiction, classics, mystery
Short summary of the story: This is the third book in the Bluebird Books written by L. Frank Baum under the pseudonym "Edith Van Dyne". The book revolves around a young heiress Alora Jones and her enigmatic, reclusive father, Jason Jones. From the time her mother, Antoinette died when Alora was eleven, her life has been anything but happy. When she is fifteen, events began to unfold that threaten even the modicum of normalcy that the girl has known so far. When she goes missing, Mary Louise, a budding detective, is sent to help solve the crime and bring Alora home safely.

Here is what Goodreads has to say about the book:
Mary Louise Solves a Mystery is the third in the series of girl detective novels featuring Mary Louise Burrows and her friend Josie O'Gorman. When Antoinette Jones dies leaving her daughter Alora and her entire estate to her estranged husband something appears to be amiss. Mary Louise decides to find out.


My feelings on the book: I will start off by saying that I was surprised to find that the same person who wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz wrote this book as well. When I think of Baum, I equate him with children's fantasy. Seeing his works in a whole other genre really made me appreciate his talents as a writer. The book itself was well written and the ending, while predictable, was quite clever. That being said, I can honestly say that I both enjoyed this book more than I thought I would and not as much as I had hoped. Allow me to elaborate:

The book is definitely 'of its time' and the writing style holds a certain formal 'stuffiness', if you will. The rather antiquated style coupled with the out dated ethics of a bygone century rather detract from the overall story. It was sweet and nostalgic, and written for a younger target audience than myself. And while there is certainly nothing wrong with that, and the flaws of the book may well be just coloured by my own preferences of reading material, I can safely say that I will probably not read the other books of the trilogy. I personally prefer a much grittier, darker style, so while this was a mystery, which I love, I think I ill stick closer to my comfort zone next time. But that is just me.

If you enjoy classic mystery books, then I would say to give it a try. You might just be pleasantly surprised.
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