Mrs. Roberto, or, the Widowy Worries of the Moosepath League

Written by Van Reid
Review by Steve Lewis

It’s been a long impatient wait for this fourth adventure of Maine’s turn-of-last-century’s intrepid Moosepath League – three years, with Van Reid’s Peter Loon intervening — but here it is at last. No time has elapsed on the calendar, however, between the end of Daniel Plainway, wherein Joseph Thump found Mrs. Roberto’s card placed surreptitiously in his pocket, and the beginning of this lively springtime tale.

Mrs. Roberto, it may be recalled, was the daring balloonist (in an attractive suit of tights) whom Mr. Thump rescued in a way on the previous Fourth of July. Fearing she may now be in even more serious trouble, the threesome of Ephram, Eagleton and Thump are off on another adventure. In the meantime, their nominal leader, Tobias Walton, and his steady companion, Sundry Moss, somewhat forlorn in love, have an exploit of their own, that of curing a seriously depressed pig. Along the way each of the separate groups of gentlemen encounter various Portland gangsters, an elderly lady who writes romantic novels under a host of pen-names, and her daughter Dee whose cat is named Ezra Porch. Not to mention the young waif of a lad named Mailon who produces a splendid surprise of his own.

Besides reflecting the magnificent grandeur of long Yankee yarns – with at least smile on every page, a chuckle every so often, and (unable to hold it in any longer) a laugh-out-loud to myself – Reid is also aware of how precious life is, and he can equally bring a small tear to the eye as well, when no one’s looking. And even though four seasons have now passed, there are enough loose threads for at least one more adventure. While it’s best to start at the beginning, these are stories not to be missed.