Combine Doyle’s unparalleled storytelling with a little guidance from the spirit world and the result is this ingenious literary concoction second in sequence only. In the forward readers are greeted with a letter from the author, which explains the origin of the story and includes a special note of thanks to his ghostly housemate, thus setting the stage for a magical reading experience.
Audrey and Garrett Font had been certain this would be the most boring summer ever-but that was before their week long Lighthouse adventure. Now, they were just as excited as dear ol’ grandpa to explore the beautiful, colonial-style house tucked into the base of a towering waterfall. Following Great Grandpa, Leo Font’s drawings, the trio make their way into the vast forests of Northern California in search of Fakersville. But after sixty years, Grandpa’s memories of this picturesque area seem to be the only thing left of this once vibrant mining town. How could they find the house grandpa was so anxious to explore if they couldn’t even find the town?
The first, of the new characters to be introduced is the cantankerous, president of the Inventor’s Club, Mr. Howard August. Listening to his stories the Font’s learn a great deal about the history of Fakersville, from thriving quartz mining area to a deserted ghost town of sorts, where curiosity seekers simply disappear. Following a series of clues and solving puzzles, with the assistance of a new friend, the Font’s begin to uncover the towns long buried secrets. But is it too late? Can they rescue their beloved grandpa and prevent the Mayor from writing another chapter in the mysterious story of Fakersville.
There’s a lot going on in this story, much of which has been skillfully layered, so that educational and moral lessons are brilliantly disguised as entertainment. Among the themes beautifully woven into this work are the dangers of scientific irresponsibility, unthinking conformity and the power of choice. Adding depth and realism to the adventure are a myriad of unique drawings throughout the story. The novel is populated by a cast of colorful characters that are complex, three dimensional and well developed. There’s an almost tangible innocence in Doyle’s writing that allows him to reach across the cynicism that comes with age and transport young and old alike into the wonderful, whimsical world of Edgar Font…if only for a few hours.
At the end of the book there’s a puzzle waiting to be decoded, along with an intriguing picture said to be the third destination on Grandpa Font’s list of possible haunts. I can’t wait!