I've never read an opening quite like this one, and it is terrific! Wilma is an orphan in the Cooper Island Lowside Institute for Woeful Children who idolizes the famous, the great, the amazing detective Theodore P. Goodman.
An old spinster takes her out of the orphanage on contract, to clean her feet and the house, and it's not long before Wilama's made friends with the chronically neglected guard beagle, Pickle, down in the basement.
Goodman is called in to investigate the theft of the immensely valuable Katzin Stone. But when the spinster is discovered with her heart frozen, just like the other murder victims, all of whom came into contact with the stone, Wilma soon attaches herself to Goodman and his sidekick, Inspector Lemoney.
She rather haphazardly contributes to uncovering clues and thwarting the plans of Goodman's arch nemesis and villain extraordinaire ( who happens to be exceptionally short -- think Napoleon Bonaparte), Barbu D'Anvers, and his sidekicks, Tully and Janty.
It's all very exciting, but even if she does help figure out how the victims's hearts are being frozen, and where the stone is now, will it be enough to get her out of having to go back to that horrid, dreadful orphanage and Madam Skratch?
A delightful read!
Wilma is now Goodman's official apprentice and, with Pickle in tow, they're called in to investigate a string of murders on Cooper Island's only stage, The Valliant Vaudeville Theater.
Of course Barbu and Tully and Janty get invoved, by buying the theater and planning to milk the murders for as many ticket sales as they can.l
Can Wilma and Pickle figure out who -- and what -- is poisoning the thespians? Can they thwart Barbu's evil plan -- again? And more importantly, will the show go on -- even if the actors keep dropping dead like flies?
A wonderful sequel.
This case has Wilma seeing ghosts. I won't spoil it and say how, just know, there IS a spook in this one, although it's not who you think it is.
Tempers flare at the Blackheart Mansion, the largest and wealthiest abode on Cooper Island, as its heirs gamble away the family fortune and it appears a ghost will do anything to keep outsiders from finding the Blackheart Treasure, a gold claw buried somewhere on the island.
Pickle's nose gets Wilma into this adventure, in by finding a mummy in an archeological dig. Then Lord Blackheart hires Theodore Goodman to investigate the treasure, and they're off on a mad-cap treasure hunt, finding clues, deciphering maps, exposing hidden / secret journal entries, and staunchly insisting that ghosts do not exist!
Of course, the evil villain Barbu D'Anvers just has to insert himself with his evil plans for finding -- or stealing, if he and his henchmen don't find it first -- the treasure!
Will Goodman get there in time to save Wilma from the Fatal Phantom? Or is this her last case?
A great mystery and treasure hunt, just a tad on the spooky side!
And this one's on my TBR request from my library via interlibrary loan. It doesn't have it, although my daughter remembers reading it years ago (it probably got discarded). When it comes in, I'll review it properly.