cover image Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye

Tania del Rio, illus. by Will Staehle. Quirk, $16.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-59474-803-5

Based on a concept created by book designer/illustrator Staehle, this impeccably designed novel pulls from literary and visual sources that include a Victorian-style two-column text layout, intricate engravinglike illustrations in red and black, and an adventure with echoes of classic children’s titles like Raskin’s The Westing Game and Dahl’s The Witches. In fact, witches are just one problem facing 12-year-old Warren—he looks part gremlin, part Burnett’s Little Lord Fauntleroy—who stands to inherit the Warren Hotel where he lives and works. The hotel has fallen on hard times under the stewardship of Warren’s uncle Rupert, and Rupert’s new bride, Aunt Annaconda, is tearing it apart as she searches for a mysterious artifact known as the All-Seeing Eye. Once word of the treasure gets out, a lack of guests ceases to be an issue, though others quickly arise in its place. Del Rio, a veteran of the comics world, knows how to keep the story moving, supplying twists and double-crosses to keep Warren (and readers) guessing. Stylish, exciting, funny, and just slightly macabre, this entertaining novel bodes well for Warren’s future adventures. Ages 8–12. (Nov.)