By GLENN TOLLE
I’ve covered Robert Quackenbush previously in FRIGHTS FOR TYKES. The first time around, I introduced you to SHERIFF SALLY GOPHER, a plucky peacekeeper who solves the creepy mystery of a haunted dance hall. This time around, we will be looking at another frighteningly funny animal fable by Quackenbush, namely, DETECTIVE MOLE AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE MYSTERY published by WILLIAM MORROW & CO in 1985.
In this story, the Rabbit family comes into some money. With their new-found wealth, they decide to bring back a castle from Spain “piece by piece”. Little does the family know that the castle holds many secrets, including a possible ghost and a hidden treasure. After moving in, however, the Rabbits decide to host a masquerade party which triggers strange paranormal activity, prompting them to reach out to Detective Mole. If anyone can sleuth out the truth it’s Detective Mole!
Quackenbush’s book is a charming little mystery that puts the author’s illustrative talents on full display. Every page is fleshed out to the fullest, making the lean narrative a minor quibble. It’s no CAT AND THE CANARY, but this old dark house (or should I say castle) caper is perfect for the young reader looking to don a deerstalker.
I got my edition of DETECTIVE MOLE AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE MYSTERY at a library sale. Being a library discard I only played $1. You can buy my edition (without the library binding) on AMAZON for $17.61, used, in “Acceptable” condition.
DETECTIVE MOLE AND THE HAUNTED CASTLE MYSTERY is a perfect book for those still too young for SHERLOCK HOLMES.