“Curse of the Stone Idol: A Chloe Wendleton Mystery” by Rita Hsu Syers is a book about when Will, Chloe and Maya go to Montana on an archaeological expedition to find dinosaur bones. Professor Wendleton, Chloe’s grandfather, was going for work and invited the kids along. About the time they arrived in Montana, an eleven-year-old Cheyenne named Little Bear discovered an unexplored cave. Everyone was eager to go looking in the cave, but first Little Bear’s brother Jimmy Howling Wolf wanted to check it out to be sure it was safe. When he went into the cave, he saw paintings of an archway. He went deeper in to the cave and found the archway that he had earlier seen paintings of. But the archway was sealed up with clay, gems and silver crosses. He started hacking at the sealed up arch and found human skulls in the clay. As he was hacking, he looked closer at one of the silver crosses and touched it. He suddenly had an urge and pulled it out which made a hole large enough for him to put his head through. He poked his head through, but before his eyes could adjust to the dark interior, something stabbed him deeply in the neck and he fell over. With his last bits of strength he was able to crawl and hide. Will Jimmy survive? Will Jimmy’s mysterious enemy surface again to finish the job? Will the kids be able to solve this mystery?
A long time passed after Jimmy left to explore the cave. The kids got concerned and Mr. Wendleton set up a rescue party to leave at dawn the next morning. The kids wanted to go on the rescue party but understood that he did not want to put them at risk (especially after what had happened on their last adventure!). The night before the rescue party departed, Chloe had a dream in which she was walking through a forest and came to a bear in front of a cave. In the dream, the bear told Chloe that Jimmy Howling Wolf was wounded inside and that she needed to follow the green dots to find him. The bear disappeared and Chloe woke up and told her grandfather about the dream. Will the dream help them find Jimmy? Will the rescue party succeed? Will they be destroyed by the mysterious stone idol?
You will have to read the book yourself to find out what happens to Jimmy Wolf and the others who try to explore the cave. But, I will tell you, some of it will make you shiver. And, even though the kids are really smart, it was a good thing they had Killian, Isis, Puck, Snickers, Firefly and Shimmer (a wise dog, an irritable cat and four troublesome ferrets).
I would recommend “Curse of the Stone Idol: A Chloe Wendleton Mystery” to people who like action and adventure. I think almost everyone would like this book. But if you are squeamish, you might not enjoy this book as much. Some parts of this book are funny but others will make your hair stand on end.