Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Davey and Derek are twins. They do just about everything together, including solving mysteries and learning a little bit of magic from their Great-Aunt Gigi. On a recent visit to their great-aunt, the boys learned a new magic trick and discovered “a large brown scraggly dog with frightened eyes.” There was nothing to identify the dog, but it did have blood on its paws. So the mystery was definitely bigger than just finding the dog’s home. They conjectured whether there was a murder involved. Just as they were attempting to connect with the dog, it took off. And the mystery deepened.
Janice Spina has a knack for writing mysteries. Her recent addition to the Davey and Derek Junior Detectives Series, The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog, is another good twist on what might appear to be a simple mystery. Like the ever popular young boys' mystery series, the Hardy Boys, Davey and Derek, the two protagonists, make a great team of amateur sleuths. The basic plot of a boy team working together solving the mystery develops simply, mixed in with a little bit of magic, a little bit of boyish fun and a little bit of humor. The reader can’t help but like and even relate to these active youngsters whose minds never stop working. The plot is developed primarily through dialogue, which makes this a good story for an early chapter book reader. There’s nothing better to encourage the reluctant young boy reader than a Hardy Boys-like series mixed with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of fun.