By Margaret Sutton
“It’s just what you like. An honest-to-goodness mystery.” “But, Pauline,” Judy protested in mock alarm, “That’s just what I don’t like, at least not when I’m practically a bride. Brides don’t go running off solving mysteries. This time I’m afraid you’ll just have to solve it by yourself.”
Yeah, right. The 16th entry in Margaret Sutton’s Judy Bolton series finds Judy in New York City buying her wedding dress. She is to be married to Peter in less than a week in a double wedding with her sometime friend, sometime frenemy, Lorraine. While there, she meets with her old friend Pauline who talks her into delaying her trip back home to help her solve the mystery of a missing author.
This is one of the juicier Judy Boltons. Judy loses her wedding dress while breaking into a creepy old house, Pauline sends Lorraine into hysterics by revealing a deep dark secret involving Judy and Lorraine’s fiance Arthur, Peter gets extremely angry and hurt and they almost break their engagement, and high-strung Lorraine does back off from her wedding to Arthur. Meanwhile, we have psychiatric institutions, amnesia, Scary barred rooms in a house, a secret staircase, the sad death of a disturbed but harmless sister, a crazy publisher, a dangerous quack, an FBI raid, and the introduction of an abused child who will become an important character in subsequent books. And lots more! Judy Bolton is not for sissies.
Naturally, Judy saves the wedding day and solves the mystery just in time to prevent disaster. It’s a pretty wild ride. **5 stars** for this one.
April 1, 2020