Who Stole Halloween?
By Martha Freeman, Ages 9-12, 232 Pages
Eleven-year-old Alex and his next-door neighbor Yasmin were first seen as sleuths in" Who Is Stealing the 12 Days of Christ"mas (2003). Now, it's Halloween that goes missing--Halloween being a neighbor's cat. Freeman offers a solid mix of misunderstandings, mischief, and mystery as the kids track not only Halloween but also other cats that have been catnapped--some say by a ghost. Is their disappearance linked to two murders that happened in the town more than 100 years ago? A cat was at the center of that mystery, too. There's a lot of super sleuthing here; even Alex's cat, Luau, gets in on the action. By setting the story at Halloween, Freeman is able to use the high jinks of the holiday as the detecting goes on. The explanation of the mystery of the missing cats doesn't quite hold together; but the resolution of long-ago killings is quite gripping (in the name of decorum, the book calls the murdered woman's paramour" sweetheart" throughout).