Recently while walking along the shelves in a local bookstore I came upon a book titled This isn't what it looks like. This September 2010 publication is the fourth book in the Terces Society Mysteries. Based upon the fascinating name of the author, Pseudonymous Bosch and I'll admit it, the cover, I purchased a copy of the first book in the series, The name of this book is secret.
After being amply warned numerous times about its dangers (which just makes one want to read it all the more), this title introduces the reader to its main characters. Cassandra, a survivalist prone to read disaster into every situation, carries a backpack loaded with essentials that are key to overcoming any situation that may befall her. Of all her dire predictions only her two substitute grandfathers, Grandpa Larry and Grandpa Wayne, seem to listen. An old fire station is the location of their antique business and residence. Max-Ernest, a would-be stand-up comedian, cannot stop talking. Despite numerous trips and examinations by various medical professionals the cause for this condition has not been determined . A friendship develops between these two quirky and endearing middle school students.
Gloria Fortune, a local realtor, delivers a box to the Grandfathers' business one afternoon containing odds and ends from a magician's house that she has listed to sell. It seems that the magician died under unusual circumstances; only his teeth were found in a pile of ash in the incinerated kitchen which was the only room to be burned in the house. Upon closer examination after Sebastian, the family basset hound, smells something funny about the contents, a very old item is discovered, The Symphony of Smells.
Max-Ernest and Cassandra decide to explore the home on their own only to discover a hidden room and what looks to be a journal written by the magician. They are frightened away by the appearance of Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais villains of the first order in search of...well, I can't tell you. But beware, our two young detectives find themselves in a life or death situation involving puzzles as old as time after they solve a riddle in what, at first glance, appeared to be a journal of blank pages.
For further fun check out The Name of This Book Is Secret if you dare.