Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt – Dave Jeffery (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Beatrice, Patience, Elmo and Lucas are not normal kids and Dorsal Finn is not a normal town. The Newshounds, as the kids call themselves, have solved mysteries before ever hearing of the Cryptic Crypt but nothing could have prepared them for the depth of pure evil they will face. Beatrice and The Newshounds may just be in over their heads this time, facing a renewed Nazi menace and a supernatural force that our world may not be able to survive. Will this group of kids be able to unravel this mystery while escaping the clutches of the Blue Thunder organization? Even with the help of the town’s elders, those who have battled these forces in the distant past, The Newshounds face their biggest challenge yet.

If you were a fan of The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew but haven’t managed to get your kids interested in the outdated language and cultural references inherent in those series, Beatrice Beecham may just be the way you can connect modern times with the fun of a great mystery novel. These kids have cell phones, play video games and even (gasp) date! Dave Jeffery has done an amazing job of blending the spellbinding suspense of a Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mystery with a modern flair that will appeal to audiences of all ages. The antagonists are dark enough to be authentic but there is no gratuitous gore or violence, just enough to set the tone and to create the atmosphere of danger these kids are facing. The lurking evil behind the scenes and in Dorsal Finn’s dark heart are delightfully Lovecraftian and work well with the idea of reanimated Nazis and their diabolical plans for the world. If you’re a fan of a great novel with believable characters and a dark atmosphere then Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt is a book you MUST read! Jim Dodge

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