by Jerome Mark Antil
“This wholesomely earnest novel is peppered with a dash of old-school mischief and fun.
Jerome Mark Antil’s Mary Crane and a Pompey Hollow Book Club Séance with Sherlock, an installment in the adventures of the Pompey Hollow kids, continues the group’s spirited adventures.
Antil’s love for his subject matter and familiarity with the postwar backdrop give Pompey Hollow a color and warmth that only true nostalgia can provide. Surely these were simpler times than our own, though not necessarily better or easier. The shadow of the Great Depression lingered, with not-so-distant memories of—as one character notes—having to live on very little and somehow manage to make a chocolate layer cake “with everything but chocolate.” And while the United States had recently triumphed in World War II, no great victory is ever won without casualties or sacrifice.
In the autumn of 1953, the Book Club and friends find themselves caught up in a caper…
In certain aspects, the novel seems reminiscent of author Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy Family series of the 1940s, offering a similar sense of camaraderie and fairly innocent adventure. Antil’s shifting perspective may sometimes become a bit confusing, but the general effect is a story with heart and plenty of good old-fashioned imagination.”