The Mystery of the Purloined Chocolate Bar by Wayne Greenough

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The Mystery of the Purloined Chocolate Bar by Wayne Greenough
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Young Adult, Suspense/Mystery, Historical
Length: Short Story (35 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Cousin Alice’s chocolate bar has been purloined. Petey has six hours before his stern Aunt Jennifer returns from shopping. It’s panic time for him. He was supposed to take care of Alice. Can he save the day by finding the missing candy?Cousin Alice’s chocolate bar has been purloined. Petey has six hours before his stern Aunt Jennifer returns from shopping. It’s panic time for him. He was supposed to take care of Alice. Can he save the day by finding the missing candy?

Aunt Jennifer doesn’t accept anything other than your very best effort. For Petey this is becoming a huge problem.

He cares about his cousin, but Petey has no idea how to solve this mystery in such a short timespan. Alice and Petey have clearly spent quite a bit of time together, and their relationship is closer to being a sibling bond than a cousin one. The best scenes in this book involve him protecting her from dangers imagined and real as they run around their neighbourhood collecting clues.

I was temporarily caught off guard when Petey misjudges a common disease. His claims about it are no longer necessarily true for people who have this condition under control. While his outdated information provides an important hint about the time period in which these characters live I would have preferred to see an adult correct his error.

Petey is chronologically a teenager, but his interests lie in activities that most of his contemporaries would probably no longer find amusing. He seems to be a late bloomer, and the combination of his playful personality and the subject matter of this tale will make it far more appealing to younger readers even if a few vocabulary words are unfamiliar to the average 8-year-old.

It isn’t easy to write humorous, engaging stories for this age group, but Mr. Greenough makes the process look effortless. This mystery is the perfect first step in any private investigator’s career, and I read all 35 pages in one sitting because I was so interested in figuring out who actually stole Alice’s chocolate. At one point Petey and Alice figure out something the adults haven’t told them about one of their neighbors, and their kind and sensitive reaction to such a serious matter made me wish their adventures would never end.

I was delighted by the hijinks in The Mystery of the Purloined Chocolate Bar and hope to hear more from this cast of characters soon.

Comments

  1. Hey thank thank you for the review. I do have another adventure in mind for Petey. However, at the age of 82 in February, it might not be written. Again, thank you for this review.

  2. You’re very welcome.

    Thank you so much for stopping by. If you do end up writing Petey’s next adventure I hope you’ll consider submitting it to this site. I’d be quite interested in reading it.

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