- The Montague Twins: The Witch's Hand by Nathan Page
Page, Nathan The Montague Twins: The Witch's Hand; illus. by Drew Shannon. Knopf, 2020 [352p] (The Montague Twins) Trade ed. ISBN 9780525646761 $25.99 Paper ed. ISBN 9780525646778 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9780525646792 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 8-12
Teenaged twins Alastair and Peter Montague have garnered a reputation as stellar detectives, and in their latest case they happen upon an abandoned lighthouse, a strange wooden box, and a cloaked figure hiding in the shadows. Then they are set upon by a vengeful magical specter and learn that three girls, including a former friend of their stepsister Charlie, have gone missing. Certain there's a connection, Al, Pete, Charlie, and their guardian's assistant, Rowan, team up to solve the mystery and, along the way, discover their own magical heritage and uncover the truth of the town's dark history. Reading like an aged-up supernatural reimagining of classic Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, this magical mystery graphic novel—lushly rendered in full color and set in the summer of '69—makes full use of its vintage vibe to offer something new. The titular twins are convincing as individuals, one full of sweetness, one of swagger, yet they operate as a pair worth rooting for, with Charlie as self-reliant friend, confidante, and fellow adventurer. References to Stonewall and Pete's coming out add a valuable layer of historically contextualized diversity, while magical mentor Rowan, as the only Black character, is more than a token. This first in a planned series will find a broad base of readership in those who like the supernatural elements of Lumberjanes and the retro feel of Riverdale.