Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Second in Series More Exciting! Young Readers Must-Read

Rescuing Seneca Crane
A Kari + Lucas Mystery
By Susan Runholt
Viking
ISBN: 9780670062911
288 Pages


Rescuing Seneca Crane, Susan Runholt’s second book in the Kari + Lucas Mystery series is even more exciting than her first book (The Mystery of the Third Lucretia)! And Kari and Lucas are on their own to solve a kidnapping!

The “Gleesome Threesome,” Kari and her mother, Gillian, and Lucas, who got that name after starting to travel together, are now in Scotland, where Seneca Crane, a gifted, young girl of 15, would play solo with the Orchestra Pacifica.

Seneca had been very sheltered by virtue of her talent as well as her tutored schooling, so when she met Kari and Lucas, she was thrilled to be able to do things that other girls did, like stay overnight together! During every free moment Seneca had, the girls were together so that by the time the rehearsals were over and the first concert was to take place, it was quite natural for Seneca’s parents to invite Kari and Lucas to stay with Seneca while Kari’s mother took a short trip to visit with an old friend.

Through a series of small changes--like Kari leaving her mother’s phone in Seneca’s room, Kari and Lucas committing to baby-sit for the parents of a small boy they had met, and Gillian’s friend coming into town earlier than expected which allowed an earlier start—resulted in Kari and Lucas being alone after Seneca was kidnapped!

Kari and Lucas continuously tried email to reach Gillian, but one of the kidnappers had stolen Kari’s phone and was routinely texting to Gillian that everything was fine!

But it wasn’t!

Using their intelligence, logic, and the clues they had, Kari and Lucas figured out that Seneca was being held captive in a castle in the north of Scotland. Knowing that the note left about Seneca had warned against contacting the police, Kari and Lucas felt they had no other choice—they set out to rescue Seneca—and they did!

But the whole trip was dangerous and though they finally discovered and saw that Seneca was held captive, high in an old castle, there was no way to reach her because their were guards watching and waiting. Until after much thinking, Kari came up with a plan to use one of her more unusual skills!

Once Seneca has been kidnapped, the book is very fast-paced and action filled. Both Seneca and the little boy, Parker, both help in getting the girls started in the right direction by providing clues to who is involved in the kidnapping. What they find out, though, forces them to act totally on their own, at least until they meet Robbie and Jamie—two very cute “older” guys for whom the girls quickly develop crushes. Fortunately, the boys saw them as younger sisters and were worried enough to help them when the final crisis occurs!

Readers will learn a little about the extensive practice, rehearsals and performance activities of concert pianists, but this book, the kidnapping has the biggest, exciting part! Don’t miss Rescuing Seneca Crane, Second Kari + Lucas Mystery, by Susan Runholt. What a winner!

G. A. Bixler