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Never trust a dead man

by Vivian Vande Velde


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Gr 6-9-When a teen is accused of murder, he teams up with the unlikable victim's ghost to find the true killer. A tongue-in-cheek medieval farce and a supernatural mystery. (May)

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Review

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School Library Journal :

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Gr 6-9-A medieval mystery with a touch of the supernatural. Fellow villagers wrongly accuse Selwyn, 17, of murdering fellow teen Farold and leave him to die in a burial cave alongside his supposed victim's "moldering corpse." During Selwyn's first evening in the chamber, Elswyth (a witch) appears and offers to help him escape if he agrees to work as her servant. Wanting to first clear his name, he asks her to bring the victim back from the dead to reveal his true killer. Unfortunately, the resurrected Farold (who mistakenly ends up in the body of a bat) does not know who killed him and the two enemies who have fought over a shared love interst become unlikely partners in the search for the murderer. Elswyth provides magical disguises so that they may return to their village unnoticed. At one point, the two travel (hardly inconspicuously) as a pilgrim and his bat. Selwyn soon discovers that Farold's shady character has earned him numerous enemies but he eventually solves the mystery and wins his freedom. Vande Velde successfully weaves humor with suspense throughout the story. Selwyn and Farold's jocular banter typifies a friendly antagonistic relationship and Elswyth provides comic relief with her penchant for sarcasm. Filled with engaging characters, witty dialogue, and lots of action, this is an entertaining blend of fantasy, whodunit, and comedy.-Laura Glaser, Euless Junior High School, TX

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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