The Face in the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor

The Face in the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
     
 

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Everyone in Middleburg is talking about the new drive-in viewing window at the Bessledorf Funeral Home -- at least until the vice president of the Higgins Roofing Company disappears along with the company's pension fund, leaving behind only a mysterious chuck roast. For Bernie, it's his chance to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest person ever… See more details below

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Overview

Everyone in Middleburg is talking about the new drive-in viewing window at the Bessledorf Funeral Home -- at least until the vice president of the Higgins Roofing Company disappears along with the company's pension fund, leaving behind only a mysterious chuck roast. For Bernie, it's his chance to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest person ever to capture a criminal -- he just wishes the case weren't leading him to the creepy goings-on at the funeral home.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This fourth book about events at the Bessledorf Hotel is, for its somewhat macabre premise, pleasantly daffy. The Magruder family runs the hotel, the only one in Middleburg, Indiana; it is around Bernie, the next-to-youngest child, that the story revolves. This time, he and his detective friends Georgene and Weasel are trying to solve a mystery involving a theft from the Higgins Roofing Company, coupled with its missing vice-president. This hot news literally overshadows the controversial opening of the drive-in window at the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor next door to the hotel. The basic plot plus myriad subplots involving the Magruder family members and pets, hotel guests, and other townspeople keep young readers alert and older curmudgeons forgiving of terminally goofy names, some marginal humor (having the characters pose as homeless children is not funny), and mild morals. One of the best images is the three children walking side by side up the driveway to the funeral home, collectively tripping the electric eye that parts the curtains and displays the body. Many kids will find it hilarious.-John Sigwald, Unger Memorial Library, Plainview, TX
Chris Sherman
Bernie Magruder, his eccentric family, and his friends Georgene and Weasel are dumbfounded when the Bessledorf Funeral Parlor is remodeled and has a grand reopening to show off the results--a drive-up viewing window to accommodate mourners who are in a hurry. But they're even more surprised when the vice president of the local roofing company disappears and so does the company's retirement fund. Is it foul play? Who is the strange man wandering around on the funeral home roof in the middle of the night? What does a chuck roast have to do with it? Is Officer Feeney right when he says the Magruders could have a robber staying in one of the rooms at their hotel and not even know it? And why is Bernie so sure everything is connected? Fans of the previous Bessledorf books will not be disappointed in this new mystery, and readers new to the series will want to go back and read the rest. The characters are amusing, red herrings abound, the mystery unravels at just the right pace, and this time, Georgene and Weasel make Bernie carry out some of his own risky plans.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689318023
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
12/08/1994
Series:
Bernie Magruder Series
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.77(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.71(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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