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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Rocking Crate: The Darius Morefield Mysteries, Volume 1 is a paranormal detective/coming of age novel written by C. Craig Coleman. The move to the small mill town in North Carolina was supposed to be the cure for the Morefield family’s economic woes. And it would have been, except for the fact that the mill shut down several months after they arrived. Darius was sick of hearing his mom and dad fight about money, their frustrations and general unhappiness. He knew they loved each other and that his mom really didn’t blame his dad for what happened. Now they simply had to figure out a way to make the best of their situation. Then lightning struck, and Darius’ dad was dead. Freda, his mom, was devastated and grief-stricken over her loss. She couldn’t help but blame herself because of their quarrels. Darius simply saw it all as bad luck. His own fortunes began to change when the school semester began and his walk to school was interrupted for the first time with an offer of a ride. Alex and Myrtle were funny, witty, and being with them helped Darius forget his personal problems in a way he hadn’t expected. Suddenly that dead-end move had a purpose, and his world opened up as never before.
C. Craig Coleman’s The Rocking Crate: The Darius Morefield Mysteries, Volume 1 is an inspired blend of genres that had me happily reading through to the end of the book. Coleman’s plot is cunning, and his characters fairly leap from the page. The natural settings of this book are shared most wonderfully with the reader, and the spooky bits are genuinely spooky. I especially loved the Native American aspects of this mystery novel, and got a real kick out of the homage to classic detection that occurs as Darius resolves some decades-old -- and some more recent -- mysteries. I’m eagerly anticipating reading more Darius Morefield Mysteries. The Rocking Crate is most highly recommended.