The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom
Raymond C Perkins Jr.
134 pages

The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom is the second instalment in the BT and Jimmy Adventure Series by Raymond C. Perkins Jr.  It follows two ambitious and adventurous 14 year old boys from small town Vermont who become local celebrities when they put their card carrying detective skills to work to solve the mystery of the Silver Statue (Book 1).

Their reputation preceding them, the proprietors of B and J Securities are approached by their friend Patti who believes an ancient family legacy is worthy of pursuit.  History tells them that Patti’s great grandfather once owned the Brick Kingdom, the local name for a formerly thriving, currently abandoned industrial park along the lake.  Unfortunately, great grandfather Lawrence died without a will.  His wife was declared incompetent, and a greedy conniving uncle ran the mill into bankruptcy.

Patti presents the boys with her great grandfather’s recently discovered diary which reveals cryptic clues about a cleverly hidden box containing her family’s riches.  The exciting adventure builds, as the three, accompanied by Patti’s best friend Sandy, decipher information in a dangerous cat and mouse exploration of the old mill.

They encounter puzzles, symbols, tunnels, trick entrances, and trapdoors, the danger enhanced by the pursuit by a sinister cousin bent on claiming the treasure as his own.  Imagine the Indiana Jones theme song, and off you go!

Also entertaining for adults, The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom captures the exuberance of youth, and  is a great book for an early teen audience.  Subtly inspiring, it contains positive messages and represents fun, goodness, and a refreshing innocence.  Focusing on heroes, gaining confidence, overcoming adversity, while being clearly non-violent, it would easily meet parental approval.

The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom is fast paced, consistent and highly enjoyable.  The beginning, however, contains slightly too much repetition and recapping of the Silver Statue story.  Also, there is a minor typo on page 97.  Beyond that, this reader found  Raymond C Perkins jr.’s latest to be a good, well-written mystery.  It’s definitely worth the read.

The Mystery of the Brick Kingdom is also a very nicely illustrated by Stephanie L.C. Perkins.  Kudos to the artist