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Parents' Guide to

Never Trust a Dead Man

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Classic mystery with a touch of magic, dark humor.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Selwyn may be the protagonist, but it's Farold (and Elswyth, when she's around) who holds the reader's attention. Selwyn is just the straight-man to Farold's delightful combination of petulance, snide sarcasm, whiny self-centeredness, deviousness, and good sense, all coming out of the mouth of a bat (and later a goldfinch, and then a duck).

Vivian Vande Velde has taken a classic mystery (red herrings, multiple suspects, a man wrongly accused) and added a touch of magic, a bit of the supernatural, and a dark sense of humor. The result is the author's specialty -- lightweight fun from start to finish. The mystery is nicely balanced to provide clues without being too predictable, and when the mystery slows, the humor fills in to keep things humming along.

Book Details

  • Author: Vivian Vande Velde
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Harcourt Brace
  • Publication date: March 29, 2004
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
  • Number of pages: 194
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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