Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Buried Book by D.M. Pulley

When nine-year old Jasper Leary's mom tells him to pack up as they are going to visit his uncle Leo on his farm, Jasper is excited.  He likes his cousin Wayne and all the animals on the farm.  His excitement turns to worry when his mother leaves, telling him to be good and that she'll see him soon.

As days and then weeks go by, no one wants to talk about his mom.  He helps out on the farm and enjoys visits with his dad on the weekends but wants to know what is happening, where his mother is, and when he will return to Detroit and his life.  He starts to learn things about his mother as she was growing up.  She is the black sheep of the family and brought them disgrace and misery with her running around and her bad reputation.  Apparently she even burned down the family home.  Desperate to learn more about her, Jasper explores the ruins of the house and finds a book.  He is excited to discover that it is his mother's diary.

He starts to read it and soon finds that she was mixed up in bad things.  Jasper is determined to find the answers for himself and soon his journey takes him deep in the world of crime, bootlegging, drugs and a nearby Indian reservation.  Along the way he realizes that there are few, if any, grownups he can trust, and he becomes more and more determined to find out where his mother is and if she is ever coming back.  Can Jasper find his answers before evil finds him?

D.M. Pulley has written an interesting mystery about rural life in the 1950's.  Jasper is more naive than a child today would be.  His unquestioning acceptance of the adults in his life and his determination to find the answers that are being kept from him make him a memorable character.  The gradual revealing of the mystery and the realistic ending make this a satisfying read.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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