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The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost: Humpty Dumpty Jr., Hardboiled Detective    by Nate Evans, Paul Hindman & Vince Evans Amazon.com order for
Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost
by Nate Evans
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks, 2008 (2008)
Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Michelle York

One nice thing about an egg is that you can do anything with it.

Just ask writers/illustrators Nate Evans, Paul Hindman and Vince Evans. The three are collaborators on a new group of books aimed at 7-year-olds and up, Humpty Dumpty Jr.: Hardboiled Detective.

In their second release of this new detective series - The Mystery of Merlin and the Gruesome Ghost - Humpty Dumpty Jr. sets out to solve a mystery after young Princess Lilly stumbles into his office saying that her school is haunted. Dumpty and his sidekick, a young boy named Rat, not only encounter a ghost, but the famous wizard and a sword stuck in a stone.

The hallmarks of the series include short, lively sentences and enchanting illustrations. This book is very readable, as was the first one, The Case of The Fiendish Flapjack Flop.

But one wonders if Dumpty Jr. - yes, the son of that dizzied nursery-rhyme character is having a little trouble finding his identity. The book begins like an ageless detective spoof. But then writers bring in science fiction and fantasy, leaving readers, at least the older ones, with the feeling that the plot is a bit like scrambled Harry Potter.

This is a fresh new character who can develop some interesting traits of his own without turning Benedict on the writers' impressive creativity.

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