Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Creepella von Cacklefur No. 3 - Ghost Pirate Treasure

The mystery and the horror return (for all ages, of course) in the third Creepella von Cacklefur novel for early readers, Ghost Pirate Treasure. Someone is lurking around Squeakspeare Mansion at night. There are holes all throughout the yard! Legend has it, there is a treasure hidden somewhere on the property - and quite possibly, the ghost of the pirate who buried it there might be coming to take it back!

If it sounds like the making of a great Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew adventure, that's because this mystery actually has some of the elements that made those mystery series so popular. Sure, it is written with very simple sentences and easy to read and understand words, but the mystery is still there, as is the plotting, the clues, the red herrings, and, of course, the "scares." The real author is not identified - the copyright page merely reveals that the series is translated from its original Italian manuscript, with illustrations provided by Ivan Bigarella (pencils and inks) and Giulia Zaffaroni (color). That's just one more way this series is similar to the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and countless other children's mysteries, who never reveal the actual author of the books (instead, utilizing a pseudonym as the series' author).

In Ghost Pirate Treasure, Creepella's friend, Billy Squeakspeare finds that someone is vandalizing the grounds of his estate by digging hundreds of holes. While Creepella is getting ready for the upcoming Melancholy Grand Ball, she takes time out to help her friend solve this mystery. They head up to Shivery Arts Academy, where they discover that not only did that ol' pirate, Morgan Blackwhiskers, leave a treasure somewhere on, in, or around Squeakspeare Mansion, but he was also known to forget where he hid things! This leaves it up to Creepella, her niece Shivereen, and Billy to figure out who is looking for the treasure and find it before they do!

It is rather fun to watch Creepella and her friends search out clues and follow the path they lead to find not only the identity of the thieving vandals, but also the treasure itself!  And, in true Nancy Drew fashion, when the treasure is found, Creepella convinces Billy to donate it to the school rather than keep it for himself.

Yes, I will admit, this series is a guilty pleasure - it's definitely way beneath my reading level (maturity level?  hmmm, that's another story), but they are fun, quick reads that bring a smile to my face when I read them - and isn't that what reading is all about - an enjoyable escape, even if only for a few minutes?

RATING:  7 monstrously moldy cheeses out of 10 for keeping the mysteries fun and simple, yet thoroughly enjoyable.

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