The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery) - Overview

The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery)

Author: Tom Blanton
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Date Published: October 2, 2019
ISBN-10: 1684333547
ISBN-13: 978-1684333547


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About :   The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery)

The Message in the Painted Rock (An Arthur and Marya Mystery) by Tom Blanton is an excellent beginning for what appears to be a children series. It introduces the main characters, Author and Marya,   their friends (Wacky, Bertie, and J. J), and their families. It also gives a glimpse of the types of mysteries that they’ll be solving in future episodes.

Tom Blanton presents a near-perfect mix of nostalgia and modern-day in this magical tale that includes a talking bird, a scaly green dragon with big teeth, Dr Chomsky’s three-story eerie house, a crystal sword, and even an evil wizard named, Glazor.  The book exemplifies summers of old that allowed kids to roam their towns freely, riding bikes to what was perceived as magical places. In this story it is the legend and haunting behind the Painted Rock – the finding of a mysterious old leather-bound book and more that the two young sleuths uncover.  They need to unravel the Don Pedro mystery, but that is just one little mystery in the story.

Thirteen-year-old Arthur Kincaid and his friend Marya have the adventure of their life during their summer vacation. Arthur‘s summer vacation first appeared to present a bleak time for him compared to the trips his friends’ (Wacky, Bertie, and J. J)  were having in New York, Colorado, and Florida. However, things quickly change after a pie delivery to Dr. Chamsky’s house.   

It is a captivating read for youngsters who love adventures, solving mysteries together with friends. The storyline is fun and easy to read - depicting life in a small town from the perspective of a young teenager. The main characters are wonderful; they are role models of how we wish kids would behave today. 

Readers will find Arthur a very likable character because of his relative modesty, his insecurities, his faults, and his talents. There is a wholesome quality to Blanton’s book that harkens back to the types of mystery books of yesteryear; however, he deftly weaves language and topics of a modern generation into it.

Arthur and Marya are young and adventurous which are great attributes, but they quickly discover that their adventures can turn into more trouble than expected. The two learn the importance of communication, especially for when things seem to be going very wrong – like dealing with the grotesque wizard, Glazor.

There is magic in the book like a dragon that can talk and zip around the sky doing sniggles. In fact, the dragon goes by the name of Sniggles because he is the best of the best in performing a sniggle.

If Blanton’s talented writing in his first book is an indication of things to come, he will quickly become a popular children’s book author. He also creates a magical feat in writing his book without using a single word of profanity in it. The story is engaging, the suspense is authentic, and his characters are industriousness, accessible, and great role models for the target audience.  The Message in the Painted Rock is a keeper.


About Tom Blanton

Tom Blanton lives in Austin, Texas with his family, which includes three of the feline variety.


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