Welcome

A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Three Cam Jansen Mystery Stories: The Girl with a Photographic Memory by David A. Adler

102. Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Susanna Natti (buy)
Cam Jansen, #1

Rating: (4/5)

1980; Puffin Books, 58 pgs

Ages: (7+)

"Fifth-grade sleuth Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory to catch a jewel thief."

Bookmooched a copy.

I first met Cam Jansen a few years back when my son read a couple aloud to me as his reader, so I picked up a few more for him.  I was impressed with the quality of the mystery for this level of reading.  Starting here with the first book in the series, I'm again impressed with this mystery series for first chapter book readers.  Cam (aka Jennifer) and Eric are two interesting and curious children with a lot of smarts.  Cam's photographic memory is an unusual device and makes for a fun element to these mysteries.  The children do some daring things but ultimately are clever and responsible enough not to go too far.  They may wait before calling the police but call the police they always do in the end.  This mystery is quite clever and will have would-be sleuths scratching their heads trying to figure out who the robber is and how he managed to escape.  This is the type of book I would have read as a child.  Well-done sketches accompany the text making for a pleasant reading experience.


*****


108.  Cam Jansen and the Mystery of Flight 54 by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Susanna Natti (buy)
Cam Jansen (12)

Rating: (4/5)

1989, Puffin Books, 64 pgs

Ages: (7+)

"When Cam the fifth-grade sleuth and her friend Eric go to the airport to meet Cam's aunt, just arrived from France, it's all systems go. But before you can say "bonjour," a young French girl has disappeared. Will Cam be able to find her?"

Bookmooched a copy.

I can't say enough, how impressed I am with this series from the books I've read so far.  The writing is good, the illustrations artistic and the mysteries are varied from real crimes such as robbery to family  mysteries such as missing items.  Adler does well at writing a mystery for this young age which takes some thinking to solve, may surprise readers with the ending, and yet leaves clues behind with the possibility of solving it.  Cam's photographic memory which we are told is scientifically called "eidetic" is a unique quality for a mystery sleuth.  Another one well-read.


*****


110.  Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House by David A. Adler. Illustrated by Susanna Natti (buy)
Cam Jansen (13)

Rating: (4/5)

1992, Puffin Books, 58 pgs

Ages: (7+)

"Cam and her friend Eric are visiting an amusement park with her aunt and uncle, when Aunt Katie's wallet is stolen. Does Cam, with her amazing photographic memory, have a ghost of a chance of finding the thief?"

Bookmooched a copy.

It is now twelve years after the publication of the first book in the series and the children are all the same ages so that gives you the feel for these books.  Let your child read as many as possible when they love them as once they outgrown them, the books will  not grow with them.  Once again another excellent mystery for the youngest reading mystery fans.  In this book Cam's Aunt and Uncle take the children to an amusement park where one of the rides they go on is the titular Haunted House; there is no Hallowe'en tie-in though.  Lovable characters, while Cam is the star she shares page space with her buddy, Eric and the two make one of children's lit's great mystery sleuths.  This time the duo confronts a real crime when Aunt Katie's wallet is stolen.  I like how the author takes only two short paragraphs in the first chapter to sum up who these two kids are what their background in mystery-solving is, letting a new reader jump into the series at any point.  This one is a very-well written plot, using the device of a red herring to completely blindside us through a detailed investigation that turns into shock with the capture of the real villain at the end.  I wonder if Adler ever wrote grown-up mysteries?  He is good at the craft.  I highly recommend this series.  Now this is the last book I have in the house and (not having little ones anymore) I will not be rushing out to read any more than the six I've all ready read but if one crosses my hands, you can be sure I'd read it before letting go!

No comments:

Post a Comment