This box set includes the first three books in The Virginia Mysteries series!
Magic Tree House meets The Hardy Boys
Summer of the Woods
When young brothers Derek and Sam move with their family to Virginia, they have no idea what adventures the summer will bring. As the boys explore their creaky and deep surrounding woods, they uncover the mystery of a valuable coin collection stolen from the local museum 60 years earlier. Join the boys as they spend their summer running from danger and searching the woods, secret caves, rushing waters, and hidden passageways for treasure and the rare 1877 Indian Head cent coin!
Mystery on Church Hill
Brothers Sam and Derek have a knack for uncovering mystery and adventure. When they visit Richmond's St. John's Church for a reenactment of Patrick Henry's famous liberty speech, they stumble upon a hidden piece of history. As the boys and their friends dig deeper, they find clues from America's founding fathers and a secret plot to steal a treasure from our nation's past. Join in the mystery as the search races from the cemeteries of Richmond to the streets of Colonial Williamsburg.
Ghosts of Belle Isle
Legend says that the haunting lights over the rapids on the James River at night are the ghosts of long-dead soldiers still fighting the Civil War. Just past the water lies historic Belle Isle, the former Union soldier prisoner-of-war camp, now a city park filled with crumbling ruins and dark wooded trails. When brothers Sam and Derek explore the island and local monuments to Richmond's past on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with their friend Caitlin, some ghosts may be more alive than they expected! Join the adventure as the kids face their fears and a confederate biker gang led by the notorious Mad Dog DeWitt.
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Virginia is for (Mystery) Lovers
•audiobook• 4.5 - book 1
Where was this book when my sons were the same ages as these characters?!
I enjoyed the throwback story and style from when I was growing up with Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and authors like Ruth Chew - where children found treasure, maps, clues, and explored their world.
This was a very fun book and one most elementary youngsters could enjoy.
Note: No new age technology and simple family dynamics.
Tidbits of history - some real, some not - are scattered throughout. Very subtle but it also adds depth.
4.5 stars because there were small inconsistencies
It seems to be a solid stand alone.
Narration complemented the audience and story telling.
•audiobook• almost 4 stars - book 2
Not as enjoyable as the first. Caitlin, a classmate, was a new addition to the young brothers and quite likable.
Patrick Henry still has a cameo thread to the mystery with relation to the George Wythe, a lesser known signer of the Declaration of Independence.
There were instances I had to replay scenes because it seemed like the Derrick was acting like Sam or vice versa.
The book blurb of comparing this series to The Magic Tree house is misleading.
•audiobook• 3 stars - book 3
The third book in the series seems to lose its luster.
This story takes place the summer following the previous book. Although the boys have aged, they still act as young as they had in the first book.
After a morning ride to Belle Isle, Sam is thrown from his bike when older boys ride past him and cut him off. Dropped off at his friend’s bookstore, the reader is led to believe he has spent several summer days there. However, Caitlin gave him directions to the bathroom. Made it feel inconsistent.
I liked how we met different people and the youngsters were still innocent. This delved into the Civil War history, differing from the first two books’ focus on persons from the American Revolution. It was interesting. As a native Virginian, I knew a lot about Belle Isle’s industrial contributions to Richmond’s heritage, but learned about its darker history.
I had bought the first three books in a bookset on Audible. It started off strong and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although the time was not wasted, I have no intention of following Sam, Derrick, and Caitlin as they continue to explore the rich historical myths, legends, and stories of Virginia.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful