Alistair and Peter Montague are orphaned twin brothers who love to solve mysteries. They’re living with David, a professor, his wife Sandy, and their daughter Charlie, who is just as into mysteries as the boys are. One summer day, David insists they take a day off to have some good, clean fun. They take turns deciding what to do, and end up at the beach. It’s there that they see an anomaly in the sky above the lighthouse – that turns out to be the doing of a witch. David, Sandy, and David’s assistant Rowan then tell the boys that they have magic and must use it to solve the mystery. Being magic users themselves, David instructs Rowan to teach the teens magic as both a practical teaching exercise and to study the boys. Who is the mysterious witch? What does she want? Can the teenagers gain enough control over their power to find out?
I’m striking out lately! I don’t have the patience for mysteries, it seems. I feel Nancy would like this one much better than I did. It’s very much reminiscent of the 50’s era Hardy Boys, but with touches of modernity and the paranormal: the focus is on the mystery much more than anything else. Still, the characters have their unique and modern struggles. It’s interesting to see these issues through the lens of time.
The art also evokes old mystery illustrations and cartoon shows such as Scooby Doo. The figures are very geometric, with sharp angles. The color palette is dark and mysterious, but also has a pastel or sepia quality to it. It feels like you’re reading an older book even with the modern elements in the story.
Overall, this mystery is sure to please teens and adults who like paranormal elements in their mysteries (emphasizing the mystery bit) and those who like The Hardy Boys.
Page, Nathan, & Drew Shannon. The Montague Twins (Vol. 1): The Witch’s Hand. 2020.