Rereading: THE PRETTIEST GARGOYLE by William Corbin

Cover art by Lydia Rosier

This is my favorite of the William Corbin books I’ve read. Something of a departure from his other books for young readers in that it includes romance of a sort appropriate for the thirteen-year-old protagonist.

Michael Horner is in Paris with his sister and parents, and has been there for months. The others love it, but Michael hates it, and longs for his home in Bend, Oregon where he can ride his horse and enjoy the wild outdoors. He especially hates the school he has to attend for English-speaking children, and one day he rebels and declares he’s not going back. Michael’s father is sympathetic, and has recently bought him a spy-glass or telescope with which he can get good looks at the outside of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, just across the river from their apartment building. He decides to study the gargoyles, and one day he gets a glimpse of a pretty girl in a red sweater standing next to one. Then he sees her again, but very late, when the Cathedral is closed to visitors. She must be hiding out there, and he wants to know more. The gargoyle project begins to turn into a mystery-solving one.

A local paper gives him the who and why, reporting that Dani de la Tour, niece of a wealthy businessman who lives nearby, has been missing for several days. The photo makes the identity clear. Michael is determined to find and talk to the “prettiest gargoyle” of Notre Dame, and help her if he can.

This book has lots going for it: suspense, mystery, history, the city of Paris, and a bit of romance, but really a friendship between Dani and Michael that surprises both of them. Highly recommended.

The Prettiest Gargoyle by William Corbin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.