Friday, August 21, 2020

Review of "The Mystery of the Million-Dollar Penny," by Mel Lyle


Review of

The Mystery of the Million-Dollar Penny, by Mel Lyle

Four out of five stars

 Jack Power is seventeen and his brother Chip is fifteen, the ideal age for main characters in adventure fiction for adolescents. It opens with the Power boys hiking in a remote region of the Ozarks and they come across a small airport. It is owned and operated by a man named Clay and the scene is one where pigs and chickens are running free range.

 The adventure truly begins when a small plane flies overhead and crashes in the thick brush. The only way to reach the site is by having Clay fly his helicopter. They rescue the pilot and transport him to the nearest hospital. The name of the injured man is Lewis and he is one of a small group of men involved in a million dollar stolen treasure. There is a cave nearby with the associated legend that perhaps the Jesse James gang had hidden some of their loot there.

 Other men arrive that may or may not be what they claim to be. With their friend Eddie, the Power boys do what adventurous boys of their age do. They look for and attempt to create clues that will help them solve the mystery. The main clue is scratched on a rare, old penny. However, it is the treasure that is worth a million dollars, not the penny.

 The adventure is constructed following the bounds of such adventures. The Power boys are in danger, but not the kind created by ruthless adversaries. There is a base resolution where all questions are answered regarding the villains, heroes and simple bystanders.

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