The PopCult Bookshelf

PopCult Note: As promised in last week’s PopCult Gift Guide, this week in the PopCult Bookshelf we once again turn the reigns over to Mrs. PopCult, Melanie Larch, who will guest review the second volume of Wolfgang Parker’s “Crime Cats” book series. Tomorrow’s PopCulteer will feature a follow-up to our coverage of the recent “Batfauxbile” controversy, then we should be back to whatever passes for normal next week, just in time for the holidays.

The Dusenbury Curse (Crime Cats, Volume 2)
Written and Illustrated by Wolfgang Parker
ISBN-13: 978-0692318065

When a mysterious Phantom, a strange hooded figure, and a 100 year old curse connected to an abandoned amusement park come face to face with ordinary boy with the ability to hear cats talk, the result is “The Dusenbury Curse.” This is the second book in the “Crime Cats” series by Columbus, OH based artist and musician, Wolfgang Parker and it’s a thoroughly engrossing mystery.

“The Dusenbury Curse” brings us back to the real life Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville, where Jonas Shurman (the aforementioned boy who can hear cats talk) and his feline partners CatBob and Neil Higgins must come to the aid of their friend and neighbor, Orville Dusenbury. Financial straits have forced him to sell the land on which the abandoned amusement park sits, both of which have been in his family for several generations.

The potential sale raises the ire of the ‘White Phantom’, a mysterious presence which has tormented the Dusenburys for years–and now it’s out to exact revenge on Orville. Matters are complicated further by the vengeful Phantom’s feline minions and the hooded figure who follows Jonas, CatBob and Neil as they race to solve the mystery surrounding the title curse and save their friend.

Once again, Parker has spun a spirited tale that will appeal to readers of all ages. Action and suspense abound, especially as the details of the title curse unfold. There’s also a positive message about not passing the burdens of the past on to future generations.

While the “Crime Cats” series focuses on his amiable heroic trio, it’s the delightfully eccentric Orville who stands out as the star character in this book. Readers will get their share of giggles as they discover his secret passions.

Like “Missing,” the first book in the series, two “Crime Cats Cat Clues” follow the conclusion of the story. Both contain helpful tips dealing with feline behavior issues and stray or feral cat adoption.

Parker is also donating a portion of the profits from every new or digital sale of the Crime Cats books to the Crime Cats Relief Fund, a private charity that issues grants to help with medical care expenses for Clintonville’s community kitties.

If you’re looking for something for the young reader (age 8-12) in your life, “The Dusenbury Curse (Crime Cats, Volume 2)” should be at the top of your holiday gift list. It’s an enthralling mystery that will appeal to kids and parents alike.

Here’s hoping these cats have 9 (or more) lives to keep delighting readers.