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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Carillon Chase: Campanello Travels Book 3 by D.R. Ransdell is the latest installment in the series. Journalism major Gina Campanello is offered an internship and is sent on a road trip from Arizona to the Midwest to cover the International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois. She is also tasked to write about the interesting places that she passes. For travel companions, Gina is forced to bring along the tweens, Stella and Angie. She also invites her former Thai boyfriend Sompong. What promises to be a tedious assignment changed when she became acquainted with Dutch musician Peter “Vinder” Van de Velde, the world-renowned carillonneur. The carillon is a set of fixed chromatically tuned bells sounded by hammers controlled by a keyboard, and once a year, carillonneurs from around the world perform in Springfield. After contacting Vinder through his website, Gina finds him friendly and interesting and was eagerly looking forward to meeting him in person. The story takes an unexpected turn when the always reliable Vinder misses his first concert. Learning of his mysterious disappearance, Gina, Sompong, and the tweens realize that they are the only ones who can rescue him.
D.R. Ransdell’s Carillon Chase is a romance, travel, and mystery rolled into one. Written from the point of view of the main protagonist, it has a very casual and conversational tone, almost like listening to a friend talk. Seemingly written for young adult readers, this novel is an engaging and informative story for all ages. The author has masterfully woven the twists and turns of the storyline together with music, art, architecture, and history, and it’s a great learning experience. As we go on this road trip, there are many moral lessons to learn that are presented subtly as the author’s delivery is neither heavy-handed nor preachy. One of the elements I like is the way the novel is structured. The author effectively uses the settings to create transformation, while the action reveals and develops the story’s characters. As the suspense increases, the important objective is always clearly in sight. The pacing is consistent and leads smoothly to the conclusion. This is an enjoyable read for a lazy Sunday afternoon and I highly recommend it!