The Case of the Crying Signpost

Children - Grade 4th-6th
178 Pages
Reviewed on 03/15/2023
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Author Biography

Interestingly, the story was originally set on American Samoa. I had just finished some Somerset Maugham short stories which, like all great literature, had me imagining how it must have felt to be living in the South Pacific in a different time. When the chance came along to start Songs of Hope, my global music project for young singers, I stopped marketing the Signpost manuscript. Some years later, when I could return to writing, I decided to change the story. From several trips, I had fallen in love with New Orleans and I liked the idea of bringing Nelly closer to home.

The rest of the story is built on themes I love to explore. From the challenges of traveling to a new place, Nelly grows in confidence. From her brush with the unexpected, she discovers qualities she didn’t know she had. And of course, like many a reader, I had always loved the Holmes-Watson stories and it struck me as a fun idea to turn Watson into a twelve-year old girl and to create the same kind of comfortable, mutually inspiring relationship between detective and assistant—only this version of Holmes is even more unusual than his Victorian predecessor, with an entirely different set of tools to solve his mysteries, and Nelly is certainly not Watson. Almost immediately, she becomes more of an equal partner in Tim’s sleuthing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Doreen Chombu for Readers' Favorite

The year is 1937, and Nelly Melcham is on her way to Puerto Rico for a vacation but her plans change in Miami when she crosses paths with Timothy (Tim) Morcombe. Tim is on a mission to New Orleans to solve a case for the Governor. Nelly quickly offers to help Tim get to the city and volunteers to assist him in his investigation because she sees that he is no ordinary man. Tim is six inches tall, traveling in a suitcase, and claiming to be a detective. His latest case involves a missing woman, voodoo priests, and ghosts. Do you believe in ghosts? Are you afraid of them? Join Nelly and Tim as they find the answers in The Case of the Crying Signpost by Tom Xavier.

The Case of the Crying Signpost is full of mystery, suspense, and comedy. The story took me on an adventure and turned me into a detective. I was suspicious of every character and analyzed everything because I did not want to miss any clues. Tom Xavier is a great storyteller because he made the story intriguing and engaging from start to finish. His descriptions of people and places were picture-perfect, and I loved the concept of Tim, a tiny man traveling around the world solving mysterious cases. The premise has all the ingredients of a movie franchise along with great creativity. I enjoyed the chemistry and banter between Tim and Nelly and despite people underestimating them because of their size, they proved to be the best duo for the case.