The Case of the Crying Signpost
By Tom Xavier
Genre: Fiction/Middle Grade
Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy in exchange for an honest review.
You’re not afraid of ghosts, are you?
What’s a city girl from Chicago doing locked in a high tower prison in a creepy old house in 1930s New Orleans? How did she get there, and why? These questions and more swirl throughout Tom Xavier’s utterly absorbing mystery, The Case of the Crying Signpost.
Twelve-year-old Nelly Melcham hates to admit it. But it’s true. She’s afraid of flying, even though her mother is a world-famous aviator. Nelly’s en route to Puerto Rico to visit her dad when her plans take a dramatic U-turn. Nelly winds up in Louisiana with Tim Morcombe, “Indetectable sleuth” and “one of a kind in the Detection Profession.”
Tim and Nelly are soon heading to New Orleans to solve a mysterious missing persons case. It involves the sudden and inexplicable disappearance of one Millicent “Millie” Hastings MacLaren. It soon becomes apparent that evil things are brewing in The Big Easy. It seems the Hastings family built “their prideful home” over the place of the dead. Not a smart move. Now they’re being punished, one by one. Is Millie MacLaren the latest victim? Has Millie been cursed by the ghosts, as “voodoo priestess” Madame Bellio insists, “her body carried away on the winds”?
‘Wild Ghost Chase’
Nelly and Tim are soon up to their chins in a “wild ghost chase” as they look for clues and try to solve the case and find Mille MacLaren and her brother, Gray Hastings.
When a storm comes up, it’s said that the ghost of Millie MacLaren can be heard crying on the wind. The plot thickens when Tim and Nelly head out to investigate. Nelly soon overhears Madame Bellio utter some strange Cajun words about… ? (Oh, wait. You’ll have to read the book to get that.) But Nelly is discovered. She’s locked in a tower “in a house guarded by ghosts.”
It gets even more interesting in a creepy, shivery, spine-tingly kind of way in this lightning-quick, expertly paced blend of mystery and history. Can Nelly and Tim solve the case and find Millie before it’s too late?
A Little of This…
The Case of the Crying Signpost is a little Nancy Drew. A little Tom Thumb. Add a pint-sized Sherlock Holmes/Hercule Poirot and you have a world-class private detective named Tim Morcombe, scene stealer par excellence.
Tour de Force
Told in the first person, this finely crafted work is a tour de force of supreme storytelling skill. Strong writing fuels a dynamic plot that has more twists than The Cyclone at Coney Island. It’s masterful. Several “light bulb” moments of the Aha! variety are turned on throughout this gripping read.
Meanwhile, the author offers just enough clues to keep you guessing and turning pages. And what’s that about… gold? Tunnels and runaway slaves? There’s also Revenge. Betrayal. Double-crosses. Blackmail. Cousins. (Yes, cousins.) And What’s. That. Awful. Smell?
Middle grade audiences and anyone who loves a riveting story packed with action and adventure will enjoy The Case of the Crying Signpost. I couldn’t put it down!
March 14, 2023 at 9:21 am
Wonderful review! I like an exciting ghost chase
March 14, 2023 at 10:02 am
Thanks Wendy! This book surprised us. It’s a terrific blend of mystery and history. Never heard of this author before. But you can bet we’ll be looking for more from this guy!
March 20, 2023 at 12:09 pm
Thanks for the review. This sounds like a very interesting mystery!
March 20, 2023 at 3:35 pm
You’re welcome Monica! And thank YOU for commenting!