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Reviewed by Julia Hopkinson for Readers' Favorite
A Ghostly Tail is the second in the Springer Spaniel Mystery series, written and illustrated by Nancy T. Lucas, and follows her first book, The Missing Boston Terriers of Smith Street, from 2011. Scout is the titular fluffy black and white springer spaniel, happily living with his mumma and dad in Charleston, content to spend his days lazing in the garden, eating cookies and gratefully receiving tummy rubs. Fresh from his rescue of Ike and Clyde, the lost Boston Terriers of the first book, Scout – accompanied by his friend, the food-loving, plump possum, Chisolm – is perturbed to see a scary, red-eyed, grey-haired, wolf-like face in one of next door’s windows. Even more unsettling is the insults the ghostly figure hurls at Scout, criticising his fluffy fur. With Chisolm’s help, and that of Boykin Spaniel, Pudge, Scout gets to the bottom of the mystery; but can he rid the neighbourhood of the menace, can he stop the insults, and, more importantly, can he get home for dinner!
A Ghostly Tail is a pleasant book for children, with some cute characters, a sweet mystery and a sprinkling of humorous moments. Its real strength, though, is in Nancy T. Lucas’s delightful illustrations. The pictures throughout the book of Scout, Chisolm, Ike, Clyde and Pudge are lovingly drawn and will definitely appeal to children. The story itself is a little uneven in places, but the overall message and the charming images will make this book a winner. A third mystery, The Missing Tulips, is due out shortly.