Monday, August 17, 2015

Mill Creek #5 Tent Show Summer and #6 Irregulars Strike Again

In the Mill Creek Irregulars #5, The Tent Show Summer, Steve and Sim attend the first performance of the Brooks' Stock Company's tent show.  When Mike Kurth tries to shut down the tent show based on a strange tip, Steve smells a mystery.  With Sim and Pete's help, Steve keeps an eye on the tent show and tries to figure out why someone would want it shut down.

I don't have much to say about this particular title, but I greatly enjoyed it.  I enjoyed #4 in the series more than #2 and #3.  I enjoyed #5 more than #4.  The series gets better and better with each title.

In the Mill Creek Irregulars #6, The Irregulars Strike Again, Steve and Sim return to Great-uncle Joe's farm for a short vacation between Christmas and New Year's.  Steve's real plan is to camp in a cabin, much to Sim's dismay.  Steve gets his way as usual, and the boys get settled in the cabin.  They soon notice that Sepple Bollinger is pretending to fish in the creek.  Steve decides that Sepple is a lookout for a group of poachers, so he drags Sim, protesting all the way, into another mystery.

These books are quite realistic.  The boys come close to being arrested (yet again!) in this book because the adults and law enforcement simply will not believe their wild stories, which just so happen to be true.  In this case, Steve tries to convince the adults that the poachers are carrying the deer off in a hearse.  Now who would believe that?

Even though Sim complains all the time, I realized, even in the first book in the series, that he genuinely likes Steve.  Derleth does not come out and state it in the earlier books, but I had pegged Sim as someone who is too cautious and just loves to complain.  By this point in the series, Derleth makes clear how Sim really feels, despite his complaints.

On page 58, Sim does his usual complaining, claiming that he won't go.
"Stay here," I said.  "Go on.  Stay. —The fact is they couldn't pay you to keep away from Ferry Bluff."

Sim grinned a little sheepishly.  He knew it was true.  He knew that for all the bucking and kicking he did, it was second nature for him to do it, and he meant to stick by me.  He always did.  Oh, I had to suffer for it, hearing his complaints, but he always stuck.
And on page 72.
Sim grunted.  "I got the feeling you're heading me into trouble again."

I had to grin.  Always going on about getting into trouble.  Always griping about what I got him into, and sure to be angrier than a wet cat if he missed out on anything.
Steve's other friend, Pete, has a knack for looking stupid while obtaining information.  Pete is described as follows on page 137.
No one would have suspected, looking at him, that Pete was sharp enough for even rudimentary thinking.  He had one of those bland, expressionless faces that persuade people to believe their owners have rooms for rent between their ears.  Pete's rooms were highly organized, even if he didn't advertise it.
This is another excellent entry in the series.

No comments: