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Never Trust a Dead Man Book Review

Check out the Vivian Vande Velde teen mystery novel, Never Trust a Dead Man.
Courtesy of Random House
Never Trust a Dead Man Book Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

If you are looking for a good teen mystery book to read you should check out Vivian Vande Velde's novel, Never Trust a Dead Man.

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

Ever been stuck in a situation where the only person who can clear your name is a dead man? That's exactly the predicament Selwyn Roweson finds himself in after being accused of murder in Never Trust a Dead Man.


Love Triangle

When Farold Miller is found murdered in his bed, all eyes turn to Selwyn. Both boys had been in love with the same girl, Anora, but Farold is the one who she had chosen to marry. And since a heartbroken Selwyn had picked a fight with Farold the week before the murder, and Selwyn's distinctive knife was the murder weapon, Selwyn was convicted of the murder without protest from any of the townsfolk. His sentence was to be buried alive in the town burial caves with Farold, his apparent victim.


A Stranger in the Cave

With all of his family being closely guarded in town, Selwyn Roweson makes peace with the fact that no one is coming to his rescue and that he is going to die. That is, until a cloaked stranger appears in the cave and offers to help him find his way out. The stranger turns out to be a clever and crafty witch whose services Selwyn takes advantage of in order to help himself clear his name. The favor comes with a price however - one year of Selwyn living and working at her house. So who, other than the murdered man, Farold, should Selwyn bring back to aid him in his quest?


The Perfect Team

p>Selwyn Roweson's dealings with the witch have him owing her years and years of service but make for some funny situations. Farold is brought back, into the body of a bat, and accompanies Selwyn back to town to find out who murdered him. The two make quite the pair and create a ton of commotion in town.

Wanted: Farold!

With each chapter, a new puzzle piece is given to the reader about the murder. When Selwyn and Farold start out, Farold is convinced he has no enemies, besides Selwyn. But as the story goes on, the list of suspects ends up being as long as your arm. Everyone in town seems to have a reason to want Farold dead!


The Bottom Line

If you're looking for a fun mystery that'll have you grabbing for your Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass, then definitely give Vivian Vande Velde's Never Trust a Dead Man a read. If you're looking for something with a bit more meat, then try Scat by Carl Hiassen, or The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.


Never Trust a Dead Man Rating: 4


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    First Vivian Vande Velde Novel?

    • Never Trust a Dead Man is her first book.
    • Smart Dog was the first novel she wrote.
    • User Unfriendly is the first.
    • Curses, Inc. was Vande Velde's first book.

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