Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits
By Michael D. Beil
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, 9780385753173, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
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Lantern Sam is the wise-cracking, sarcastic, talking cat (for those who can hear him, that is) who lives onboard the Lake Erie Shoreliner train and is one of the best detectives no one knows about. He doesn't have much patience for humans (unless they bring him sardines), but when 10-year-old traveler Henry can't find his new friend, the exuberant Ellie, Sam's enlisted to help. A ransom note is soon discovered and just like that, Sam and Henry are on the case, with the help of Clarence the Conductor (who supplies Sam's sardines). But is Ellie still on board the train? Did the salesman with his trunk full of samples sneak her off? And why does that couple keep acting so suspicious?
Veteran middle-grade mystery author Michael D. Beil has crafted a hilarious and appealing adventure set in the 1930s that's chock-full of quirky characters, red herrings, and all with an irresistible cat at its center.
MICHAEL D. BEIL teaches English at an all-girls Catholic high school in New York City. He is the author of Summer at Forsaken Lake, as well as four installments of the Edgar Award-nominated mystery series The Red Blazer Girls. He lives with his wife, two dogs, and two cats.
Kirkus Reviews, February 2014:
"An atmospheric late-1930s adventure with old-time cinematic appeal. Fans of fast-paced, far-fetched action will lap it up as enthusiastically as Sam swallows his favorite brand of sardines."
Booklist starred review, May 1, 2014:
“With its swift pacing, suspense, and humor, Beil’s latest mystery is a fine choice for reading aloud or reading alone.”