Review by Vincent Noot of “The Note Hunter – Case of the Haunted Swamp”

Review by Vincent Noot of The Note Hunter: Case of the Haunted Swamp, follows the cover and blurb below.

The Note Hunter: The Case of the Haunted Swamp is a mystery adventure for ages 8 and up and is now available as an eBook at

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The adventure begins over two hundred years ago, when Wolfgang Mozart composed his Perfect Symphony, using ink made from pure gold to create every note. So extraordinary were the golden notes that they jumped right off the pages of the manuscript and ran away, seeking adventure across the globe.

Today, there’s only one detective in the world who can bring them back together. He’s a talented musician who can play any instrument. He’s a brilliant detective who can solve any mystery. And he’s only three-inches tall. A three-inch tall mouse to be exact – who goes by the name of T.W. Strouse.

In The Case of The Haunted Swamp, strange sounds are emanating from deep within the Louisiana Bayou. Could the source be Mozart’s legendary Golden Notes? T.W. Strouse travels into the foreboding bayou to get to the murky bottom of the musical mystery.

Book Review:

The artwork: Can I just say that at a first glance, I LOVE the illustrations? I am an illustrator myself and I sense a Disney-like style in the way the artist drew the animals. Still, it seems to be not an exact copy of Disney characters, but he made it his own style. Seeing that he worked for several tv cartoon series, it’s no surprise. Definitely a book that has beautiful pictures to enjoy!

The style: The book is obviously written for children with a big vocabulary, for older kids, or who would like to expand their vocabulary. Sentences like, “Another bluster ruffled his double-breasted trench coat” or “as he plummeted toward the pavement” and other long descriptions are not uncommon. Sometimes French or Italian words are expressed, and typically some characters speak with a heavy accent, expressed in the different spelling of the words they say. It makes it a little harder to read, but It brings the characters to life. I like it.

The story: I am sure this book will be enjoyed by the more intelligent youngsters who like to read mystery books.  The plot unravels slowly when one keeps on reading. It’s a lot of fun to see the characters come to life. All kinds of animals with different accents cross paths with the main mouse detective (a wink to Disney’s movie). And as a real detective, he always “senses” there is something off, something to be investigated. The book is 79 pages, which is good for a long time of reading enjoyment.


Book video:


The “Note Hunter” series is sure to become a hit with the early reader group, with a good story, lovely characters and spectacular illustrations. Davida Chazan, Jerusalem, Israel

Kelly Ward has an Emmy Award for directing. With writing partner Cliff MacGillivray, he shares the prestigious Humanitas Prize for Children’s Animation. His television production credits include Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue, Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks. His feature film production credits include Once Upon A Forest, and All Dogs Go to Heaven 2. As an actor, he’s probably best known for co-starring as T-Bird, “Putzie” in the musical feature film, Grease. Early in his animation career, Ward helped found Universal Cartoon Studios, and later, resurrect the long-dormant MGM Animation unit made famous by mentors, Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Writer/Producer Cliff MacGillivray’s credits include television, film, books, comic books, computer games and toys. Along with writing partner Kelly Ward, he was the 2005 Humanitas Prize Winner for Children’s Animation. In television, MacGillivray has worked on Stuart Little, Liberty’s Kids, The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks, DuckTales, and Gummi Bears. He co-conceived and produced The Adventures of Hyperman; first as an edutainment game in partnership with IBM, and later as a television series for CBS. He has written or story-edited scores of comic book titles, including Gumby, Star Wars, GI Joe, Bullwinkle, Dick Tracy, Flintstones, Uncle Scrooge, Rescue Rangers, and Roger Rabbit.
Phil Mendez has been writing, drawing, designing, directing and entertaining people for over 40 years. At Hanna-Barbera Productions, he was the lead character designer and layout artist on Scooby Doo, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Hong Kong Phooey, Magilla Gorilla and Charlotte’s Web. He also left his mark at Walt Disney Studios on two enduring classics, Robin Hood and The Rescuers. His work for Disney also includes five years as concept and development designer for various shows and rides in Epcot’s World Showcase. Mendez’s work is on display in the Louvre Museum, and he numbers among his many honors, the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” award, the Action on Film Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Ollies Animation Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

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The Note Hunter website, contains sample chapters and more.

The Note Hunter:The Case of the Haunted Swamp is available for purchase on Amazon:

Potential buyers should know that there are two versions of the book – one in full color for color tablets, and one in black and white – for the Paperwhite.

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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