Monday, September 8, 2014

Hangman's Gold by Sneed B. Collard III

While out on a geological assignment with their fathers, Slate and Daphne explore the Wild West ghost town of Bannack, Montana. During their exploration, the two friends find a list of riddles leading to an unclaimed vigilantes’ treasure. As they figure out the riddles, a second mystery diverts them. In a nearby town, several priceless paintings have been stolen and the clues are leading back to Bannack. Slate and Daphne work together to find the missing paintings, but they are kidnapped by the art thief and his boss.

The second book in the Slate Stephens mysteries does not disappoint. Hangman’s Gold flawlessly transitions from the first book to showcase how finding the governor’s dog has affected the lives of Slate, Daphne, and their families. Like the first book, Collard creates an engrossing story that weaves together historical facts, geological know-how, preteen wit, and budding romance into a colorful whodunit. Again, Collard sets the stage in Montana, this time using the real ghost town of Bannack and its history as the heart of the story. A fun read, and an enjoyable read-aloud, for boys and girls, ages 10 and up. Collard plans to continue writing more Slate Stephens mysteries in the near future.

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