Friday, December 16, 2022

Today's read... Tangled Up in Nonsense by Merrill Wyatt

It's time for a stock-stuffer read for all those middle grade, mystery fans out there. Today's read is the second book in the series, and nope, I have not read book one, yet. So, we're diving right into this one with cold feet and tons of expectations. 

The Tangled Mysteries, Book 2
by Merrill Wyatt
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Middle Grade Mystery
272 pages
ages 8 to 12

Sloane and Amelia clash with rival detectives when they travel to a secluded mansion in search of a missing fortune in this second book in the fun-filled Tangled Mysteries middle grade series perfect for fans of The Book Scavenger and Lemons.

When Sloane Osborn and Amelia Miller-Poe arrive at Tangle Glen mansion, they have one goal: find the two million dollars that went missing on its premises decades ago. Solving the mystery would be just the kind of splashy victory their new detective agency needs to gain traction.

Except that everything from the weirdly intense peony competition to the mansion’s cook who may or may not be hiding murder dolls in the attic seems to get in the way of their investigation. Not to mention Amelia’s obsession with speaking in 1920s slang, which sounds like a whole lot of nonsense to Sloane. And when it became clear that Amelia and Sloane aren’t the only ones searching for the missing millions, things started to get downright dangerous.

So, when Sloane finds herself stranded on the edge of a slippery roof as a terrified bloodhound careens toward her, she can only ask herself:
1. Why are adults so obsessed with peonies?
2. Just how far are the other detectives willing to go to find the millions first?
3. Is the rain gutter on a hundred-year-old mansion strong enough to hold the weight of a thirteen-year-old girl and an exuberant dog?



Long lost millions, an historic mansion, and a race against time...that's the excitement this mystery holds, which offers surprises, hard-to-fit-together clues, and a few peonies, too.

Sloane acknowledges that her and Amelia's latest Youtube mystery movie isn't a winner, and they're loosing viewers fast. When her grandmother's come up with the 'perfect mystery' to get things rolling again, she isn't convinced, but Amelia's not going to et them ignore the chance. Traveling 45 minutes away to an old mansion in search of a lost treasure does sound exciting, but the mystery is stickier than they could have dreamed. Especially since they aren't the only ones on the case, and more than a few situations have become simply deadly.

Starting out with a prologue, which grabs readers completely, this tale shoots off into a fun mystery and a trip back to the 1920's. I did not read the first book in this series, and that didn't matter. This tale can be read all on its own. Sloane is the more serious of the pair, and Amelia's enthusiasm is catchy. The two make a great duo and share a wonderful friendship, which carries all the bumps, fun, and heart it should. But then, all of the characters hold their own flair (especially the grandmothers) to make each one entertaining to meet, whether good or bad.

The writing carries a bit of a more traditional feel and has a very nice flow. Quirky situations mix with tension and surprises to keep the reader on their toes...and boredom far away. It's hard to guess what is truly behind the mystery as clues go this way and that. Add the facts and tidbits thrown in, which also flow right into the tale, and it's an unexpected fun...even if you aren't a peony fan because neither are these two. 

It's a fun mystery to sink into with a duo to wish were at your side.

And here she is...

Merrill Wyatt lives in Toledo, Ohio, with her husband, daughter, three cats, and a slightly surly guinea pig. She spent far too much of her childhood wandering around cemeteries and old Victorian homes. A middle school technology teacher, she is doll-phobic, donut-obsessed, and owns too many pairs of shoes.

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