Monday, February 8, 2016

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits by Michael D. Bell

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak BanditsThis book is a 2014 release, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Lantern Sam is a talking cat who can only be heard by two people, the conductor on the train and Henry, a young passenger. Henry meets a young heiress who is later kidnapped and held for ransom. Sam happens to be the train's detective, and he secretly sets out to solve the crime with the help of Henry and the conductor. There are plenty of suspects on the train, and the clues lead Sam and Henry in many directions. A retired judge joins the investigation, and it's not clear if he's actually helping or hurting the search. Henry starts to close in on the kidnappers, but things become more dangerous. The kidnappers have guns, and they're not afraid to use them.

If you don't like the idea of a cat with the ability to talk to humans, don't even start the book. Sam is a cool cat, and his character mixes the mind of a detective with the urges of a feline. He likes his milk and sardines, and he needs constant thinking time, or is he napping? The plot includes Sam's retelling of his life story, but I don't think it's needed. I skimmed those chapters to keep my mind on the kidnapping plot. Sam's story is funny and interesting, and other readers may love it. The mystery is fairly easy to follow, but it includes some twists and turns. There is a false climax when the kidnappers are caught, so the ending is little surprising.

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