Bats, Bandits & Buggies, by Nancy Oswald was the light, entertaining read I needed after two months of serious short story selection for two separate anthology collections. A thoroughly enjoyable read, this book is a nonstop adventure that is sure to put a smile on the face of readers of all ages, not unlike the other books in her Ruby and Maude Adventure series, featuring a young girl named Ruby and her ice cream loving donkey, Maude.
In the first book of the series, Rescue in Poverty Gulch, Ruby and Maude come to Cripple Creek, Colorado in the 1800’s, but over the series the cast of characters has grown to include a cat named Trouble and a young donkey named Willie, and they’ve all moved down the mountain to Colorado Springs. But, trouble always seems to find Ruby and her friends in a whirlwind of seemingly unrelated events, which somehow leads to danger.
In Bats, Bandits & Buggies, Ruby and Maude set out to go into business offering buggy rides around Colorado Springs. But, when Ruby tries to help her friend Roy earn the money to pay his aunt for a book that was ruined, she finds herself with an uninvited partner. As Ruby trains Maude to pull the buggy and set forth on their new business venture, odd occurrences lead her to believe that something strange is going on in Colorado Springs. First, someone abducted her cat, Trouble, while Ruby was napping; then there’s the string of recent robberies in which the bandits leave the store with the stolen merchandise and mysteriously disappear; and then there’s Roy’s peculiar aunt, who seems to be taking advantage of her young nephew, and alternates her mood faster than you can blink your eye. Ruby isn’t sure what is really going on, but she’s determined to find out.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy this delightful book, for you won’t find spoilers here. But I will say that Bats, Bandits & Buggies is a purely fun read, all the way through. The pacing is wonderful, carrying the reader pleasantly moving along through the story, and the characters are delightful. I give it five quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth offers honest reviews in exchange for a copy of the book. If you have a book you would like a review for, contact her at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Trouble Returns, by Nancy Oswald, is the third book in her Ruby and Maude Adventure children’s series. The series are historically based stories about Ruby, an independent and headstrong young girl, and her ice cream loving donkey, Maude, and their adventures in Cripple Creek in the late 1890s. I had the pleasure of reviewing the first book, Rescue in Poverty Gulch, in which Maude is donkey-napped and Ruby risks her own life to save her beloved friend and companion.
Ruby must face her greatest fears in Trouble Returns, when she must face the villain, Jake Hawker, who’s she’s tangled with twice before, in a court of law, when she testifies against him. But she finds her fears very real when he breaks out of jail and comes after Ruby and her friends and family. Can Ruby triumph over Jake Hawker for a third time?
Trouble Returns is crafted to be a stand alone book as well, making me aware enough of events in the second book, Trouble on the Tracks, that I was able to easily follow the full story line, although I hadn’t read the second book, without giving me a bunch of block exposition. As you might guess from the titles, books two and three feature an additional character, who steals readers’ hearts: Trouble, Ruby’s lovable little cat.
I found this story to be a delightfully entertaining story which was skillfully written. Oswald has crafted another story that readers of all ages won’t want to put down. She’s done her research and the historic details are wonderful. Another plus for me was the fact that it is available in paperback, because I’m an old fashioned type of gal. I give Trouble Returns five quills.
Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read, and she never charges for them. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.