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The Case of the Halloween Ghost by John R.…
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The Case of the Halloween Ghost

by John R. Erickson

Other authors: Gerald L. Holmes (Illustrator)

Series: Hank the Cowdog (9)

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I love the audio edition of The Case of the Halloween Ghost, but the print version also good.

Pete the Barncat warns Hank the Cowdog that tomorrow night is Halloween (That first syllable is pronounced the same as the nickname 'Hal,' as in 'hallowed [holy] ground, not like the word 'hollow'). Hank is arrogant enough to declare that Halloween is not observed on their ranch. Worse, he declares that what he believes is the definition of what is. Trust Pete to get back at him. (Is that cat being deliberately insulting when he calls Hank 'Hankie'? After all, that sounds the same as 'hanky,' which is short for 'handkerchief,' that reusable cloth used to wipe off sweat, tears, and snot. A Kleenex is the disposable version of a hanky.)

Drover is worried about ghosts and goblins. Not Hank. He's more interested in spending some quality time in front of Slim Chance's wood-burning stove. The Lopers' hired hand lives in the hired hand house. The description of the way Slim keeps that shack means I wouldn't want to enter it without a full container of sanitizing wipes. YICK!

Slim is planning on having his lady friend, Miss Viola, over for dinner. He doesn't want her to see the filthy mess he lives in, so he starts cleaning up. Kids might consider his method to be just fine, but it would never pass inspection.

Hank and Drover are given the task of getting rid of the mice. I live out in the county. Our cats take care of the mice that get in our house, but we (make that 'I') get to clean up their droppings. Considering the number of mice the dogs are chasing, Slim's shack must be like a giant rodent bathroom!

The condition of the food and the kitchen for the meal Slim cooks for Miss Viola turned my stomach. Will that nice lady actually eat it????

First Hank hears mysterious singing coming from the cake house near Slim's place. Later, he and Drover investigate some odd noises in the night. The investigation and its aftermath are quite funny. So's the encounter Hank and Drover have with Black and Jack, Miss Viola's family's dogs.

The best scene is the 'TRICKER TREES' one, which leads to a spooky climax. I enjoyed Miss Viola's explanation. Read the print version for the illustrations, but listen to the audio version for the voices, singing, and sound effects. Either way, it's a good Halloween story.

Page 123 has Hank's guarantee of 100% truth, which made me chuckle. Two pages listing the series' titles follow, with a description of what one gets for joining Hank's security force on the last page. (Love the look of scorn on Pete's face -- follow his eyes for which item he's staring at.)

By the way, I asked Maverick Books what kind of cakes are stored in a ranch cake house. According to the reply, it's a supplemental feed that comes in 'cakes' or pellet form. It's called 'cattle feed cake'. ( )
  JalenV | Oct 17, 2015 |
Erickson picks up here on a good idea from the previous "Hank the Cowdog" book and focusses on the dogs' relationship with another more incidental character. This time it is Slim, whose housekeeping is both disgusting and hilarious in all the ways that little kids, boys especially, will love. The humour in this book is great, and there is some real suspense too. My only caution would be to those who are particularly offended by Halloween and/or the supernatural--the ending of this book may not please you--or those with very small children. I imagine that most people old enough to read this book to themselves would not find it too scary, but I also know of a family who uses the audiobooks with their 5- or 6-year-old daughter, and children at that age might find this book a little bit disturbing. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be a frightfully good read. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Aug 6, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John R. Ericksonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Holmes, Gerald L.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Kris on our 20th anniversary
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It's me again, Hank the Cowdog.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141303859, Paperback)

It's Halloween night and mysterious things are happening at the ranch. A car drove up to the house with some mighty suspicious looking passengers...and Drover saw the whole thing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Hank the Cowdog has one of the scariest adventures of his life when he and his cowardly companion, Drover, find themselves in a strange and spooky place on Halloween night.

» see all 2 descriptions

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