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Book review: 'The Dead of Night' continues 'The 39 Clues' saga

By Melissa DeMoux

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 14 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

"THE DEAD OF NIGHT: The 39 Clues, Chahills vs. Vespers, Book 3," by Peter Lerangis, Scholastic, $12.99, 190 pages (f) (ages 8-12)

Teenagers Dan and Amy Cahill never expected to find themselves careening across the globe stealing priceless pieces of art. Members of the Cahill family aren’t usually criminals. However, the savage abduction of seven prominent family members can make you do unusual things. The Vespers have transformed life as a Cahill into something treacherous.

But as Vesper One, the head of a heinous criminal organization, reaches outside the Cahill family lines, Dan and Amy decide he has gone too far. When Dan’s genius friend, Atticus Rosenbloom, suddenly disappears, the Cahill’s know they have to take action.

Dan and Amy — along with an assemblage of Cahill cousins — must decipher Vesper One’s furtive clues and unearth a previously undiscovered treasure to satisfy Vesper One’s gluttonous desires and keep the hostages safe. Can they find the artifact in time, or will the prisoners meet an untimely end?

Plunging into a fully charged adventure that spans three continents, author Peter Lerangis leads readers into the expanding world of “The 39 Clues” saga. Lerangis authored or co-authored three books in the original “The 39 Clues” chain and has now returned to the series releasing book three in the new “Cahills vs. Vespers” branch of the story titled “The Dead of Night.”

This story is fast-paced and full of adventure. Dan and Amy are definitely imperfect, but their desire to help others and do what is best despite the costs is admirable. The supporting cast in the form of the many Cahill cousins is eccentric and charming. There are instances of them stealing and other generally illegal actions that may warrant a conversation with young readers.

Threading humor, intensity and intellectual problem-solving into the story adds even more depth. It is entertaining and enthralling leg of the “Cahills vs Vespers” journey.

Visit www.the39clues.com to play the game or learn more about the books.

if you go ...

What: Peter Lerangis book signing

When: Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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