Monday, September 28, 2015

Ted Wilford #7 Stolen Plans and #9 Big Cat

In Ted Wilford #7, The Stolen Plans Mystery, Ted has two mysteries.  Mr. Sawyer, who works for the newspaper, has disappeared.  Meanwhile, petty thefts have occurred at many stores in Forestdale, and those stores are the ones participating in the Town Crier's contest, in which a computer will choose the winning entry.

The two mysteries which turn out to be completely unrelated to each other.  In most series books, multiple mysteries in the same book always turn out to be the same mystery.  This is another example of how these books are not as predictable as the typical series book.   

The identity of the thief is extremely obvious.  I was pleased when Ted and Mr. Dobson draw that conclusion fairly quickly instead of acting like they have no idea.  It's an insult to the reader when a solution is obvious and the characters act like they don't know.

The cover art is hideous.

In Ted Wilford #9, The Big Cat Mystery, Ted tracks down rumors of a leopard in the woods near a summer camp.  Only one person has seen the leopard, and another person has found tracks.  Ted and Nelson try to determine whether the leopard is real or whether someone is perpetrating a hoax.

On page 11, the camp manager suggests that someone has started the leopard rumor in order to drive the camp out of business.  Nelson proves himself to be a levelheaded young man.
"I should think a story like that might help business," said Nelson shrewdly.  "Wouldn't it attract a lot of curiosity seekers out here?"
Thank you, Nelson!  In most series books, it is assumed that anything scary will always drive all people away.  No, some people like excitement!

The next paragraph spoils part of the plot, so skip it if you don't want any type of spoiler.

Nelson finds what he believes to be an adult black cat.  Later, the boys learn that the cat is actually a black leopard cub.  I looked at photos of black leopard cubs, and they do not look like domesticated cats.  The boys should have known that the cat was not ordinary from the moment they saw it.  This part of the story is neat, but I found it not very believable that they would have made that mistake.

Aside from what I just mentioned, these books are realistic in a way that most series books are not.  There is a fire, and without getting specific, the end result is not good at all.  In most series books, fires are always put out just in time.  Not so in this book.

This is an excellent story.

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