This was a change-of-place (literally) story for Lenox, whose adventures usually take place in England. It was interesting getting his eye-view of the upper classes of America, not as glowing as fawning newspaper society pages, not as critical as Dickens on one of his tours. He feels an immediate rapport with Teddy Blaine as he was also fascinated by detective work as a boy, and also comes to enjoy the company of O’Brian, and through his eyes we note the differences and the similarities between the American and the British upper class, feel his surprise when he first sees the Newport “cottages,” and work the mystery with him.
I had my suspicions about the culprit about halfway through, and was pleased to have figured it out, as these are usually very complicated. I also appreciated the ending, which chronicled a difficulty in 19th century living that we would find much different today. An excellent entry in this series, which I have been reading since the first book.
This is one of my very favorite books in the entire world, and I apparently have a thing for spunky girls named Addie, what with Addie Mills along with Addie Pray. While I like the movie immensely, the book is full of additionally adventures, Addie's matter-of-fact and sometimes hilarious narration (her description of Trixie includes this gem: "...I don't guess most people looked past her bosom. Oh, my, that bosom. If Grant had met up with breastworks like that, he never would have taken Vicksburg,"), and characters like Colonel Culpepper, Amelia Sass, and Mayflower Goldsborough. It's fun and in places touching, and gives a vivid portrait of the South (the movie takes place in Kansas) during the Great Depression. If you've only seen the film, try the book; it's terrific.
Let's see if I can keep all the plots straight in this 23rd Happy Hollisters adventure: First a Weather Bureau instrument packet lands in the Hollisters' yard. The kids (Pete, age 12, Pam, 10, seven-year-old Ricky, and Holly, age 6, plus 4-year-old Sue) intend to mail the packet back, but hope to keep the orange parachute. Unfortunately creepy Joey Brill and his best friend Will Wilson swipe it. The kids take the instrument package to Mr. Kent at the local paper, who gives them more info about it, and also tells them about mysterious lights—perhaps, the kids speculate, UFOs!—seen at Pine Lake. One of the witnesses was a jet pilot named "Jet" Hawks (yes, I'm afraid so). While Pam and Pete are helping their dad at his store, The Trading Post, by unpacking polished rocks, they take a particularly interesting one with a streak of gold in it to a local "rock hound," Mr. Kinder, who just happens to own a worked-out quarry at Castle Rock, which is, you guessed it, on the shores of Pine Lake, and find out it contains titanium. The kids talk mom Elaine into taking them to the quarry, where they are warned off by missing car keys that reappear with a threatening message attached to them, and meet a couple of fishermen who tell them stories about a "monster" in the lake.