The Unbelievable Oliver And The Sawed-In-Half Dads by Pseudonymous Bosch and illustrated by Shane Pangburn is a hilarious novel about Oliver and his two friends Bea and Teenie. Throughout the story, the group goes on an adventure through Hauntington Mansion, uncovering hidden passages and doors better left unopen.
The story follows the trio as Oliver, an up and coming magician, prepares to do a magic show at Bea and Teenie’s fathers’ wedding. All is going well until one of the fathers goes missing. The three friends and Benny (Oliver’s talking rabbit) go on a hunt through Hauntington Mansion for the missing dad. The troop goes on the search while trying not to get distracted by the paintings, trapdoors, and in Benny’s case by the garden, on the way.
Bosch incorporates humor and suspense to make an entertaining and captivating mystery. The story is somewhat predictable, in the sense that what happens in the book is common in mystery novels. The characters are relatable tweens who make some bad decisions throughout the fiction, but learn from them and improve as the tale goes on.
The pictures are a fun addition to the novel. Pangburn adds to the humorous story, making the characters and setting come to life. The illustrations also add some clues so that you can guess who did it before the characters figure it out themselves.
I would rate the book a nine out of ten because it is very entertaining (even though it is predictable), funny, and has many detailed pictures that add to the hilarity of the novel. Bosch incorporates a behind-the-scenes look to magic, adding some do-it-yourself pictures for the magic trick shown in the novel which most can do at home. I would recommend the story for children ages 7-10 because Bosch uses simple language to create a fun and easy to read mystery.