Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Mystery of the Messed-Up Wedding by Elspeth Campbell Murphy illustrated by Chris Wold Dyrud

Sarah-Jane, Timothy and Titus are cousins who also like to solve mysteries. That's why they formed the Three Cousins Detective Club! They're visiting their grandparents and there's going to be a wedding a their Grandpa's church (he's a Pastor). Sarah-Jane is excited, because she thinks weddings are wonderful; Timothy and Titus think that weddings are weird. Before the wedding, the groom shows up to say that the wedding ring is missing! The three cousins are on the case! But instead of finding the ring, they discover that the bridge/groom topper has been inverted into the cake, and someone is popping the balloons on the wedding car. Someone is out to stop the wedding, but can the T.C.D.C. stop that person before it's too late?

Caution: spoilers below!

When I was younger, I read one of the books in this series (mysteries based on the Ten Commandments); I think it might have been The Mystery of the Laughing Cat.  Later, when I realized what the word meant, I wondered how a children's book would cover the topic of "You shall not commit adultery." The answer is: vaguely.  Before heading to the wedding, the family discusses their favourite Bible verses (including the Ten Commandments). Titus asks what adultery is, and Grandpa answers: "That commandment is a special law for husbands and wives, Titus. When two people get married they make an important promise to God and to each other. They promise they will love each other - and only each other - in a special way. That's why people wear wedding rings The rings show that the people have made a promise. Adultery is when the promise is broken." The ring is used in this book as a promise between the bride and the groom. When the ring went missing I had hoped (foolishly) that the real thief was someone the groom was having an affair with, but of course it wasn't. This book does a great job at balancing a grown-up topic in a children's book. The mystery is a bit flimsier, mainly because aside from the cousins, their grandparents and the groom there's really only one other character who's even introduced. But, at only 40 pages, what more could really be done in this book? The series is long out of print but if you're curious about it you might be able to find it at a library or bookstore.

Check out Elspeth Campbell Murphy's website. 

Find it at Amazon

Read it with:
The Mystery of the Laughing Cat by Elspeth Campbell Murphy
The Mystery of the Gravestone Riddle by Elspeth Campbell Murphy
The Mystery of the Carousel Horse by Elspeth Campbell Murphy

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