Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ted Wilford #2 The Locked Safe Mystery

In Ted Wilford #2, The Locked Safe Mystery, Ted is put in charge of a charity carnival.  After the close of the carnival, all of the money collected is stolen from the school's safe.  The prime suspect is the assistant principal, Mr. Clayton, who suddenly left town right after the carnival and shortly before the money was discovered missing.  Everyone is certain that Mr. Clayton is guilty, except Ted, who sets out to prove Mr. Clayton's innocence.

This book is a good whodunit.  I paid careful attention to the scene in which the money was stolen, and I had a hunch as to the identity of the culprit.  Even though I thought I knew, I was not at all certain and was greatly intrigued throughout the story as further information was revealed.  I was correct in my hunch, but I still did not know until the end exactly how the theft occurred.  I was thoroughly engaged as I tried to figure out how it was done.

I enjoyed this passage from page 26.
If a vote had been taken on the dullest thing in the paper, Ted felt sure the book-review column would have won easily.  As Nelson once remarked, "It might be fun to read a book, but who wants to read about a book?"  Few students had read, or would read, the particular book reviewed, and the whole thing seemed too much like an English exercise.
I agree, and it does not escape me that I have quoted this passage in a book review.  Since I find long summaries boring, I tend to keep quite short any summary I make of a book's plot.  I find that many series book reviews tend to be very long, giving a lengthy play-by-play of the entire plot.  And that is why I don't read them.  I'd rather read the book.  Also, reviews with lengthy summaries tend to give away important parts of the plot, and I would rather not have that information if I have not read the book yet.

In the case of a book like The Locked Safe Mystery that is about impossible to find, a detailed summary mentioning most all of the book's events might be appreciated by many readers.  However, I don't have the patience to write it up, and besides, a lengthy summary is never the same as reading the book.  

On page 79, Ted and Margaret try to get Mrs. Clayton to convince her daughter to come back to school.  Margaret tells Mrs. Clayton, "No one is going to snub her, or anything like that.  There are a lot of us who would like to help her if we could."  Sure, in a perfect world, everyone would understand that Mr. Clayton is innocent until proven guilty and would treat Mr. Clayton's daughter with kindness.  In reality, some students would end up snubbing the daughter regardless of how many other students agree with Ted and Margaret.

Events and characters from the first book are mentioned a number of times.  While I couldn't appreciate those parts of this book since I do not own a copy of the first book, I was still able to enjoy the story.  The plot of this book moves quite slowly, but the text is engaging.

1 comment:

TimK said...

Re detailed summaries: You also wouldn't want to post one for a whodunit because you'd be giving away spoilers.