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The Lost Clue Review by Megan Russell

Lamplighter Publishing
Lamplighter Ministries International
23 State Street
Mount Morris, NY 14510

“The Lost Clue” was written in 1907 and is part of the Lamplight Collection, a collection of Christian family value literature from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. This book is a beautiful, hardcopy edition with gold embossing on the cover and spine. The 287 pages are nice and thick, with an easy to read font.

More importantly, this book is a true gem! I read this book aloud to my five children, ages 14, 11, 9, 6, and 4, although it is recommend for ages 12 and up. They enjoyed it very much and often asked for another chapter! The first few chapters start off slow, but we quickly got caught up in the storyline and characters.

“The Lost Clue” is a story about a gentleman named Captain Kenneth Fortescue. His mother died when he was young, and he was raised by his extremely wealthy, yet uneducated father. His father paid for him to have the very best education possible, and Kenneth was now in the army as a captain. His father gave him plenty of money to live on, and he had no worries whatsoever. There was a young lady, Lady Violet, who had a romantic interest in Captain Fortescue. Her family was also very wealthy, and they were fond of Captain Fortescue because he was also wealthy.

Kenneth’s father suddenly became very ill, and he rushed home to tend to him. His father was dying, and on his deathbed told Kenneth something very disturbing. He had lost all of his money as it was invested in some mines that flooded. The Fortescues were now destitute. Another blow came when his father told him that he had invested all of a widow’s money in the same mine, and now the 4000 pounds she had trusted him with was gone. He made Kenneth promise to go to the widow and let her know that she was now, also, destitute. He also told Kenneth when he died, there was a letter for him in the safe that would explain quite a few things to him, but he wasn’t to open it until he was gone.

His father died shortly after, and Kenneth went to the safe to retrieve the envelope his father had told him about. Upon opening the envelope, he discovered a blank sheet of paper! He investigated and tried to see if perhaps there were invisible ink on the paper, but found it was only a blank sheet of paper. Furthermore, Lady Violet and her family do not want to associate with Kenneth anymore because he is no longer wealthy.

Discouraged, he went to the widow’s home to inform her of her loss. Lady Douglas took the news well; she was very sad, but did not blame Kenneth. One of her daughters, Marjorie, and Kenneth became fast friends. Kenneth doesn’t want a romantic relationship with Marjorie because he now poor and would not be able to support her. They remain friends and correspond through letters and occasional visits.

Marjorie takes a job in another town, and makes a startling discovery while she’s there. She finds a letter that she believes to be the letter from Kenneth’s father! She quickly gets it to Kenneth, who discovers that he was adopted as an infant after his mother died. His father was a very rich man, but the name had been blotted out with ink! Kenneth nor Marjorie can figure out what the last name was.

As time goes by, and Kenneth is working as an insurance agent, he is brought to the home of Lord Derwentwater. After seeing a portrait of Lord Derwentwater as a young man, along with many other clues, he is convinced that he is Lord Derwentwater’s son. He writes to him, but the Lord pretends to know nothing of what he is saying.

However, Lord Derwentwater soon becomes ill and summons Kenneth to the castle. He tells him that indeed he is his son. Lord Derwentwater has left everything to Kenneth, and Kenneth will become the next Earl of the castle. Kenneth soon marries Marjorie, and they live happily ever after.

“The Lost Clue” was full of surprises and twists. The main characters are godly role models and become very dear to the reader’s heart. My family enjoyed this book very much, and my children asked if there was a sequel to it! I highly recommend this as a family read-aloud.

-Product review by Megan Russell, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017