2011: 60. The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel)

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“It’s a funny thing about names.  Some are long, some short; some mean something; others don’t; but everyone has one, or two or three.”

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel), Ellen Raskin

I’ve already told you about The Westing Game, which is one of my favorite books ever.  This is another puzzle-y mystery by the same author and it’s almost as good, which is to say, it’s pretty marvelous.  It’s the story of Little Dumpling, AKA Caroline Fish, AKA Caroline Carillon, AKA Mrs. Carillon, and her missing husband Leon (who changed his name to Noel).  Mrs. Carillon and Leon were married by their parents at aged 5 and 9 respectively, to protect their new soup fortune.  Leon went to school, their parents died, and then he disappeared, leaving only the Glub-Blubs behind.* She tries to solve the mystery and find him - and ends up finding a lot of other things along the way.

OH MY LORD I love this book.  I love Raskin (though, let’s be serious, Tattooed Potato and Figgs & Phantoms just are not as good, especially Figgs, which basically freaks me out).  The puzzles are so good, and the characters are great too - I mean it’s definitely groovy and 1970’s and a bit of a laugh - they are not real in the way Turtle Wexler is, for sure, but it’s such a great fun read.  If you love brainy books and puzzles and you haven’t read this, you are missing out.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Young Adult

*That would be the message that he spoke as he thought he was drowning, the last words she heard him speak - "Noel(glub) see (blub) all... I (glub) new..."

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017