Review of Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm by Lois Gladys Leppard
As I mentioned in my last post, I started reading the Mandie series when I was 12 years old, and I'm still reading them. Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm is book number 39 in the series (out of 40 total) and really leaves more to be desired. I love Mandie books, and Mrs. Leppard, but this book didn't do much for me.
The mystery in this book is where as Mandie's teacher, Miss Hope, gone to? Really, I solved this mystery on page 23. And Mandie didn't even solve this mystery, the answer was revealed to her. Miss Hope ran off and got married, I saw that one coming. Of coarse, I did have the groom picked out wrong, but I got the basic idea correctly. This was really predictable and could have been played out better as well.
I normally wouldn't nitpick the writing style of this series because I am not used to reading the simplified language of junior fiction books, but this time it really started to annoy me. The thing that really bothered me was the redundancy and repetition Leppard included in her tale. The narration states one thing, and on the next line the character says the same thing. If we already know that, why do Celia or Mandie restate it?
One other thing that bothered me about this particular installment in the series was how fast it went by. Of coarse, with all the coffee they drink it's not surprising. Everything seemed to be really rushed, time wise and in the writing style. I understand that you can't have non-stop action all day long, but you could mention what happened in between the main occurances. The story skipped over many things and I find this to be poor narration.
But, for this series and genre, it was an okay book. Not a great one though. Still, if you plan on reading the whole series, don't skip this one because it is mentioned in the next book Mandie and the Graduation Mystery. Overall, the book ranked a 5 (points for continuity, character development, and general battling for Mandie's heart).