Original publication and copyright date: 1995.
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With a heroine named Herculeah, a sidekick known as Meat and a parrot called Tarot, it's obvious from the start that this is no ordinary mystery. Fairman takes his listeners through the twists and turns of the plot, giving voice to each sinister character with such skill that even the dead victim becomes a suspect. Young mystery lovers will cling to every word as Byars plants the clues that lead to a nearly fatal conclusion. B.L.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom School Library Journal:
Grade 3-6. Brian Fairman faithfully reads Betsy Byars' Herculeah Jones Mystery (Viking, 1995). As usual, Herculeah's curiosity gets her into all sorts of trouble and danger. She parrot-sits for a neighbor, Madame Rosa, who is a palmist and fortune teller. The parrot, Tarot, knows only one word?Beware! One day, Herculeah notices Madame Rosa's front door open and Tarot loose on the porch. She goes to return the parrot. The 70-year-old house is dark, the velvet drapes are drawn, and Tarot's parrot stand is knocked over. Her hair "frizzles" as it always does when there is danger. Madame Rosa doesn't answer her calls. Tarot continues to scream "Beware!" Herculeah leaves a phone message for her mom, a private investigator, to come help her. Herculeah finds Madame Rosa's dead body under the cloth draped table Madame Rosa used to tell fortunes. She calls her police lieutenant father. Herculeah and her friend, Meat, continue to try to solve the murder themselves. One of the most suspenseful episodes takes place in Madame Rosa's garden when the murderer threatens to kill Herculeah with a knife. Fairman reads with just enough suspense in his voice to keep listeners on the edge of their seats. The tapes can be used for individual or group listening.
Mary-Ellen Raup, North Colonie Central Schools, Newtonville,
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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