The Clue in the Ruined Castle

By Margaret Sutton

Peter, [Judy] said impulsively, “why don’t I ever faint and let you hold my head and comfort me? Don’t you wish I would?”
“I don’t ever wish you any different than you are,” and Judy knew he meant it….
“I wouldn’t change you, either,” Judy replied in a sudden rush of tenderness….
“Well, now that we’ve settled that, let’s see if we can’t find out what happened here.”

Judy investigates the local lore of a ruined castle that is mixed up in a scam, missing money, rumors, and a ruined reputation. An elderly old man is missing or dead and two children are feared kidnapped and being held prisoner. The 100-year-old family matriarch, “granny”, is a volatile and trying presence.
This got off to a slow start, thanks to a large number of minor characters being introduced and complicated family history gone into at the beginning of the story. It did pick up in the middle thanks to the inclusion of old friends Lois and Lorraine getting in on the action as well as Blackberry, Judy’s cat which thinks it’s a dog in this one, and Horace’s foul-mouthed parrot. As much as I appreciate new characters being introduced, I do like it when we re-visit the original squad. Lorraine is always a loose cannon or a wet blanket, but she was a pretty good sport in this one.
While Judy and Honey are trapped in a dungeon, the kids are found safe in their beds, the old man escapes and hitchhikes his way to safety, and the bad guy is caught. So kind of a disappointing finish as well.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

August 13, 2021

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