Friday, September 6, 2019

Dana Girls #12 The Portrait in the Sand

In Dana Girls #12, The Portrait in the Sand, Jean and Louise travel to the shore with their teacher, Miss Warren, to search for her missing fiancĂ©, Richard Henley.  Henley works for the FBI, and the girls suspect that he went missing while working on a case.  Some people believe that Henley drowned, and the girls try to keep the rumor from Miss Warren as they search for clues.

On page 41, the girls observe that the printing from Henley's letters is almost the same as the carving on the plaque.  Carving on a plaque and printing a handwritten letter are not the same process at all, and the letters would not necessarily be similar enough to prove that both were done by the same person.

On page 59, the Danas row a boat while lobsters roam around loose in the boat.  The girls have to keep pushing the lobsters back as they continue to row.  Personally, my desire not to have lobsters crawling all over me would have overridden my desire to eat them.

Miss Warren sculpts a statue near Ham Gert's shack.  Gert wants it destroyed down, but the Danas see him as being unreasonable.  I'm on Gert's side here.  If I were living in a shack on the beach, I wouldn't want visitors to come along, erect a statue, and expect me to just tolerate it.  The nerve of the Danas!

On pages 85 and 86, Miss Warren receives a message that is said to be "by a very ignorant person or one who wanted to appear uneducated."  Really?  The message states, "YOUR BOY FRIEND AIN'T AT CLIFF HAVEN.  HE IS FAR AWAY.  YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS GO HOME OR YOU'LL GET IN TROUBLE."  "Ain't" is a problem, but otherwise, the message reads quite well and doesn't strike me as being by someone uneducated.

On page 93, the Danas make Cora Appel come stay with them at the Pattons' cottage.  They inform the Pattons that Cora might break dishes,  and they are lighthearted about it.  If I were Mrs. Patton, I wouldn't want to be forced to take a maid who will break my dishes.  Once again, the Danas show how much nerve they have. 

The problem with this book is that the plot is repetitive and the girls fail to pay attention to the most important clue.  The Danas are looking for a missing man.  They keep hearing a call for help from the cliffs.  They think it's strange or that it's the wind.  They do their thing and keep hearing the calls and discounting them.  This continues until the book is far enough along that the girls finally come to their senses and investigate.

I enjoyed this story and found it to be pretty engaging reading.  Nevertheless, I found it bothersome that the girls ignore the cries for help.

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