Professional Reviews

Well Developed Mystery Suitable for Middle Grade through Adult
By Sapphyria on September 8, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Nikki Landry is no stranger to moving. Her family moves whenever her father decides it's time for a new crabbing location, which is frequently. They live on a houseboat in the bayou of Louisiana, making the moves a whole bunch easier than if they lived on land. Except, it isn't easy for 10-year-old Nikki.

This time, she doesn't want to make any new friends. There isn't any point since they probably won't stay here for any length of time. That doesn't last long, however, after she hears the Legend of Ghost Dog Island. The island in question is quite near where her home is docked and she's sure that she's being watched by someone.

Nikki and her new friends are curious about the legend and the island, yet move folks are reluctant to speak about it. The kids decide, at that point, that the only way to see what's going on is to explore the island. It's only after their scarefest do they get someone to finally open up about the island, a convent, and long ago tales of suspected witchcraft. The legend becomes all to real when Nikki's dog, Snooper, disappears. In Nancy Drew style - Nikki and her friends go on the hunt for Snooper before he becomes part of the legend.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is a mystery geared toward middle grade children. That being said, it is also a perfect book for adults who love #MG, #YA, or #NancyDrew style books. I, for one, am a huge fan of Nancy Drew. My "About Me" section of this blog says it all :) I also have a picture of my late kitty protecting my Nancy Drew books.

Rita Monette does an excellent job bringing Nikki and her friends alive between the pages of this book. The world building is circa the 1950's and includes certain fashions (penny loafers, poodle skirts, etc.) of the time. As the book is based in the bayous of Louisiana, Rita includes dialect native to the area, along with characters who speak French. For ease of the reader, the beginning of the book contains a glossary, as well.

This book was well-developed (characters, mystery, plot) and written well. I was engaged from the very beginning and the entire story flowed. I would recommend this to anyone who has children that love mysteries and to all adults that do, too.

Review copy supplied to me at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reader Comments

Night Owl Reviews

"This story was jam packed with mystery and adventure and I loved the author’s storytelling style. Not to mention, there were hand-drawn pictures, done by the author herself, " (Click image to read entire review.)


SAPPHYRIA REVIEWS


"If you would like a GREAT book for yourself or your child this is THE book! I enjoyed reading this book so much I hated to see it end. It is an easy read and has wonderful artwork from the author herself. "Behind every legend lies the truth." I'm going to miss Nikki Landry. Rita Monette (Author) outdid herself. I want to thank [a friend] for posting the link to her page. Because without it, I would have missed a great book! “
Susan K. Schofield

* * * * *

"A Page Turner! If you are a fan of mystery novels similar to Trixie Belden or Nancy Drew, you will love this book. Rita Monette is a very gifted story-teller and her illustrations are beautiful. Her gift for capturing the essence of the Louisiana bayou and its Cajun people, adds a wonderful layer to this story. The characters are well-developed and the mystery is intriguing enough for adults. I felt for the lead character, Nikki Landry. Nikki is initially reluctant to make friends because her family has a history of moving. She does make friends, however, and hears of the legend of Ghost Dog Island. Nikki and her new friends decide to explore the island (because what kid wouldn't?) and uncover pieces to a long ago mystery which may have started the legend. But when Nikki's dog Snooper disappears, the legend becomes all too real for her. Nikki and her new friends are not only plunged into a mystery, but must find her dog before it's too late."

Faerie


* * * * *


"Rita Monette's, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, pulls the reader into the life of a young, Cajun girl,
Nikki Landry, and her fascination with a haunted island in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin. Nikki faces
two dilemma at the start: she is tired of losing friends because of her father's work as a fisherman
which requires moving often, and she sees a mysterious light and hears howls in the night coming
from a nearby island.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island contains all the elements a good story needs: adventure, conflict,
friendship, and love, especially of her beloved dog, Snooper. The plot tantalizes and engrosses, but
more than that, it contains a unique twist that makes Nikki's story stand out. A host of colorful
characters entertain and embellish. Will Nikki's problem solving skills carry the day?
quick, entertaining read!"

Connie Hebert


* * * * *

 
"This is my first book by Rita Monette and I loved her writing. She describes the bayou in a lively yet mysterious light and had me visualizing the eerie sounds and atmosphere there. The culture and lifestyle of people in 1950s who spoke Cajun French was a novelty to me and I thoroughly enjoyed their language, the intricate details about their lives in 1950s (time span in which the story is set) and salivated over the delicious sounding food. The author has included a glossary telling us about some Cajun French words and I loved knowing about a new language.

The characterization is reminiscent of the Famous Five, Secret Seven and other Blyton's bestselling mysteries. I loved Nikki. She is strong, inquisitive, daring, loyal and yet has the innocence I loved in my characters as a child. Her curiosity mingled with fear of the unknown over the mysterious happenings near her had me feeling like I was living each and every moment in the story with her. The thrill of trying to solve a mystery, the strength to take risks and the eagerness to know what happened next had me sitting at the edge of my seat throughout."

N.J. Kinny


* * * * *


"If you would like a GREAT book for yourself or your child this is THE book! I enjoyed reading this book so much I hated to see it end. It is an easy read and has wonderful artwork from the author herself. "Behind every legend lies the truth." I'm going to miss Nikki Landry. Rita Monette (Author) outdid herself. I want to thank [a friend] for posting the link to her page. Because without it, I would have missed a great book! “
Susan K. Schofield


"The first three chapters are the most mysterious chapters you will ever read." –HC

"I think the book is really interesting. It was scary at the end of the first three chapters." –Michael M.

"This is a great book. I wanted to read more, but we only have 3 chapters. It was suspenseful." – DC

"The book is so amazing. It will keep you hanging from all the excitement." – MO

"The book is so cool, and it’s very interesting. I really like this book. It’s awesome." – Julia H.

"This book is so amazing it will keep you awake and you will not want to put it down." –SB

"Your book is very creative." –Grace D.

"The first three chapters are astonishing." – Nasia B.

"In the first three chapters, there are a lot of mysterious actions." – BM

"The first three chapters are amazing… mysterious because it keeps you wondering." –TB

"This is a fantastic and mysterious book." –Maegan F.

"The third chapter in this book is very suspenseful." –CN

"After you finish the first three chapters, you won’t want to put this book down, ever!" – Reyna M.

"It was a spectacular book. It made me feel like I was in a whole suspicious world….the spooky feel. I felt like I was in the book." – Neelia L.

"The first three chapters are scary, but it is really great because it sounds like it can really happen." – CW

"When I read this book, I kept wanting to turn the pages and couldn’t wait to see what happened at the end." – Emma R.

Long and Short Reviews 

"I think that this novel would be a fun read for anyone from middle-school upwards. It is a very good in its own right. In addition, I could really see this being used  in a classroom with the possibilities for many teaching moments." (Click icon to read entire review.) 

I would like to thank Ms. Karen Reilly from Yorktown Elementary School in Virginia for using my pre-published manuscript for her class project. After reviewing the first three chapters, the children made the following comments: