In the first illustrated chapter book in this early reader series, a tween vampire and three friends solve the mystery of who put a royal wedding party and their guests on ice.
Twelve-year-old Ellie Spark, christened by her sister “Scaredy Bat” for her fears of spiders, monsters, and more, is excited to be attending the royal wedding of vampire Prince Bennett to his human bride Ayanna. Her mother hurries her along because if the prince isn’t legally wed by 7 p.m., the crown passes to his brother, who has announced he’ll reverse the Fang and Flesh Peace Treaty and Ellie’s parents’ mixed marriage will be invalid.
At the venue, Ellie sees her friend Jessica, and the two dash off to find a cool spot on this hot, muggy night. When they return to the room where the ceremony will occur, they find it and its inhabitants frozen solid. A 9-1-1 call ends with the operator laughing at the “joke” and hanging up. An aspiring detective, Ellie enlists Jessica and two boys, Fez and Tink, in her investigation. Together they brave the dark, spider-webbed corners of this venue to save the day.
Young mystery fans will relate to Ellie and her friends as average tweens excited by a wedding and scared of the creepy crawlies. They’ll delight in the vampire angle’s gross elements (Ellie discovers spiders are quite tasty; Tink asks, “Do you actually drink blood?… And if so, where do you get it?”). The mystery is well-plotted with numerous viable suspects and motives to investigate; its solution and resolution are creative (if not exactly credible).
The author includes checklists at the back that help readers track the suspects’ motives and opportunities, as well as questions based on the text and illustrations by Yevheniia Lisovaya to help build observation skills.
In all, young sleuths will enjoy this amusing mystery, and be thrilled to learn that there are many more installments of Ellie’s adventures to savor.
Also available in hardcover, ebook and audio book.