Friday, February 17, 2012

Review of Never Trust A Dead Man, BY: Vivian Vande Velde

Title: Never Trust A Dead Man
Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books, imprint of Harcourt Inc.
Released: 1999
Summary: Murder mystery medieval style. Selwyn and Farold compete for the affections of dear Anora. Anora picks Farold, much to Selwyn's dismay. Selwyn goads Farold into a fight, which Selwyn loses. A couple of days later Farold is killed in his own bed and the main suspect is Selwyn, only problem, Selwyn is innocent. The townspeople do a bit of rough justice and Selwyn is convicted of the crime. His punishment is to be taken to the burial caves and sealed in with dead Farold. Facing certain death and horrible smells, Selwyn is understandably depressed. After a day passes, a witch enters the cave looking for ingredients for one of her spells. Selwyn seizes the chance to live and prove his innocence, so he asks the witch to bring back dead Farold to solve the crime. A mistake occurs during the spell (Selwyn's fault) and Farold is brought back into the body of a bat and doesn't know who killed him because he was asleep at the time of the murder. Selwyn and Farold, two former enemies, team up to solve the murder and prove Selwyn's innocence.
My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. The book is full of humor, even while dealing with such a macabre subject matter. The characters are likable and Selwyn and Farold's journey from enemies to friends is a feel good moment in the book. This book is also an extremely quick read at just under 200 pages. The buildup to the mystery and situations Selwyn and Farold get themselves into are enjoyable, but the actual reveal of the murder seemed to come too quickly and almost out of nowhere. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh or just wants something quick to read.
A welcome surprise indeed

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