Lois Lane, but younger and dumber. This was just not a deep novel, nor a "who-done-it". I enjoy reading the teen books before allowing others in the family to read it butthe 15 yr olds all found this just too juvenile for them. Perfect book for a 10 year old, just passed the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries. The writing is Judy Bloom era so probably by high school they'd be too old for this book. This book did a good job of telling you the villian and then leading you to him.
Merry hit all my pet peeves. It's full of great lines like "How did you know it was my car? Because you have Merry on your license plate." It would have been better if she had been written as a teenager (or college intern) instead. Supposedly she was a college grad working as a newspaper but is happy being Brenda Starr, girl reporter. Not being up to date on my 1950s comics, I had to google that one. She is perfectly ok throwing temper tantrums frequently. Her descriptions are always "testily", "petulently" and she "scowls" and "glares" so often it's impossible to envision her as a woman in her 20s. In true Lois Lane style, she rushes off to meet the bad guy flashlight in hand, totally expecting one of the men in the town to rescue her. There are no developed characters. There is her younger brother Sam who informs her of when guys are using her. Her boyfriend Jack who doesn't want to get married but is suppose to be controlling though we see nothing of this. She has a boss at the paper, and 2 coworkers, one who is dumber than Merry herself. A cop who is perfectly ok letting Merry do whatever she wants during his steakouts and the new love interest who is only described as "nice Christian boy" complete the characters. The new boyfriend seems to share every characteristic with her old boyfriend and I bet if you read the series guys are interchanagable (or in the next book he proposes because they've been dating 2 weeks and he is ready). The book is filled with Bible quotes.
Between the villian crying in a cubbyhole and the bad guy being obvious from page 15, it was cliche and nearly boring. I wish this book was better described by Amazon as a children's book. However I think a tween would greatly enjoy it. The characters are on their level, the writing is easy with just a couple big words, the heronine is very black/white and tries to be good, plus the religious aspect. All in all a good read for that age group. No climax so nothing scary for young readers. Sweet and simple.
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