The Postcard by Tony Abbott

The PostcardThis book was a lot of fun. It starts out rather sadly. A boy goes to Florida with his father because his grandmother died. He had never known her and his father never told him much about her. His grandfather had died before his father was born.

While there, his father has an accident that puts him in the hospital and Jason gradually becomes aware of some strange incidents involving his grandmother. The funeral director at one point called her Marnie although her name was Agnes. Some very odd people showed up for the funeral and left immediately. And then he got a mysterious phone call telling him to look in the drawer of his grandmother’s desk for a clue. What he finds is a postcard but when inspected carefully, it contains a clue of where to look for some missing chapters of a serial novel. Jason’s trip to Florida turns into an adventure with Jason and the girl from down the street who mowed his grandmother’s lawn dashing about Florida looking for manuscript pages to a story which started as an installment in a mystery magazine. Is the story actually about his grandmother? Is the author dead or alive? Was his grandmother’s father really an evil villain surrounded by strange thugs who specialized in intimidation?

The serial mystery is told in the voice of Nick Falcon, who comes off as one of those tough but tender heroes of the 30’s mystery genre. And the kids doing the investigating go on a tour of Old Florida looking for clues at tourist spots. It is very atmospheric with heat, humidity, humor, and suspense. I don’t know if kids will get the “voice” of the tale but I think they will find it fun even if they don’t get the nostalgia. After all it has villains, alligators, elephants, and smart, independent, adventurous kids!

Posted by: Fran W.

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