If you google the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, you will get images of a great building that would be a perfect setting for mystery and ghostly encounters. Raymond C. Perkins Jr. places us right there in the third edition of the B.T. and Jimmy Adventure Series, The Mystery of the Haunted Opera House.
The investigative team is at it again. B.T. Stevens, his best friend Jimmy Martin, his now girlfriend Patti Wilson, and their friend Sandy Metcalf are en route to the Haskell Free Library and Opera House that straddles the Canada/US border between Quebec and Vermont. It is rumoured to be haunted. The team is excited about meeting real members of PI-NE (Paranormal Investigators of New England), and perhaps doing some exploring of their own.
So, explore they do, encountering strange noises, apparitions, chilling breezes and other unexplained phenomena. Their investigations take them into the very depths of the building where they uncover some serious anomalies with historical and contemporary implications.
Exciting and suspenseful, The Mystery of the Haunted Opera House is a great adventure novel for pre- and early teens. Adults would also enjoy it. Straightforward, easily read, and violence free, it reminds me of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. The kids are smart, curious and respectful. There is a refreshing sense of innocence and goodness about them and the book in general.
The only thing that I would change would be if Mr. Perkins would put out a book a bit more often!
Containing some nice illustrations by Stephanie Perkins, and interesting historical information, I recommend The Mystery of the Haunted Opera House as an uplifting and fun read.
Other Raymond C. Perkins Jr. Reviews
The Mystery of the Silver Statue: An engaging, enjoyable read directed towards a youth audience
The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom: The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom captures the exuberance of youth, and is a great book for an early teen audience.