Thursday, October 28, 2010
Crunch, by Leslie Connor
Dewey Marriss and his 4 brothers and sisters are waiting on their parents who are on their annual anniversary drive. Dewey's dad is making deliveries on the east coast, and every July their mom travels with him for a bit of time away from the kids. All of the pumps are dry, however, and Dewey's folks are stuck up near the Canadian boarder for the duration meaning that Dewey and his big sister Lil are going to be in charge not only of the little kids, but of the family's other business the Bike Barn.
Since there is a fuel crunch, the bike business is booming, and bikes and bike parts are a bit hard to come by. Dewey and his brother Vince are doing the best they can to keep the business going, but the fun in fixing bikes is quickly disappearing!
And the fun is not all that is disappearing...Dewey is noticing some of their expensive and hard to come by bike parts are disappearing as well! But who to suspect? Could it be old Mr. Spivey who sometimes helps himself to the Marriss' stuff...be it a goat to munch his grass or some eggs for breakfast? Could it be one of their increasing number of disgruntled customers who cannot get their bikes back quickly enough? Could it be a friend of theirs?
Leslie Connor has written a mystery that has an interestingly timeless feel to it. Dewey and his brothers and sisters are all memorable characters, and having the parents stranded far away made for adventures with a more important feel. There is equal boy and girl appeal with mechanics of bicycles given as much room as character interactions. While the "who" in "who done it" comes across pretty quickly, instead of being disappointed, readers will be rooting for the Marriss kids to put the pieces together.
As the folks over at Bookends have stated, Dewey and his family are refreshingly normal even though they are situated in abnormal times.
A pleasure to read!