The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker
Review: Fifth grader Mickey Rangel is asked by his school's principal to assist in tracking down a student, who is leaving graffiti on the walls, in The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker, the third mystery in this series by René Saldaña, Jr. (in both English and Spanish).
Mickey quickly notes the grammar and punctuation errors in the latest example — "Our Principle's no 'pal' of nobodie's!" — and decides to focus on which students may be doing poorly in English class. (The Spanish version uses a slightly different example: "¡Nuestra directora no es muy savia ni amiga de nadies!") His most likely suspect is also one of the school's more popular troublemakers, and a bit of a bully to Mickey. But when Mickey gives him an impromptu spelling test and he passes, Mickey needs to use his skills of observation and deduction to identify the real culprit.
The mystery here is a little thin, and the reader isn't led through Mickey's thought process in coming up with the identity of the "mischievous marker" and thus doesn't really feel invested in the case. For such a short tale, a mere 32 pages (excluding 6 full page illustrations), a lot of time is spent on other matters. And the mysterious "Angel" character may puzzle some. Still, Mickey is an engaging character, clever and quick with a comeback, and one that readers his age may identify with and feel some affinity towards. While the mystery isn't a hard one, and Mickey gets it wrong as much as he gets it right, it is interesting and entertaining.
Acknowledgment: Arte Público Press provided a copy of The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Case of the Pen Gone Missing
Piñata Books (Paperback), May 2009
ISBN-13: 9781558855557; ISBN-10: 1558855556
Location(s) referenced in The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker:
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The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker by René Saldaña, Jr. — A Mickey Rangel Mystery
Publisher: Piñata Books
Publication Date: October 2013
List Price: $9.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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