Conspiracy on the Housatonic and The Great Emerson Art Heist
3 Rockland Road, Guilford, CT 06437
Conspiracy on the Housatonic
Author: Kendall Svengalis
213 pages of story; 1,500 SAT words, 42 pages of Glossary and Bibliography
by Michael Leppert
Kendall Svengalis is an author of American historical mystery novels with a unique twist – he incorporates large numbers of words found on the SAT into his works, so that they are not only entertaining, but very educational in a practical way. Conspiracy, set in the town of Stratford, Connecticut, along the Housatonic River, is about a 17-year-old Swedish-American girl detective, Ellen Anderson, and her boyfriend, Ken Swenson, who are drawn to an old mansion, whose owners are deceased. Ellen senses something sinister is afoot and she and Ken dig into the background of the mansion. Part of the reason that Ellen’s curiosity is piqued is that the adventure occurs shortly after Pearl Harbor, in 1942, when suspicions of America’s enemies are heightened. Conspiracy on the Housatonic is filled with espionage, intrigue, plot-twists and 1,500 vocabulary words found on the SAT, that are listed in the Glossary at the end of the book, so that the spelling and definition is close at hand. This book is an excellent way for anyone to improve his/her vocabulary – SAT or not – and to also enjoy a good historical read that provides younger readers with a glimpse into a bygone time in our country.
The Great Emerson Art Heist
Author: Kendall Svengalis
369 pages of story; over 2,100 SAT Words, 103 pages of Glossary for them, as well as many pages of Cultural/Historical References
This book, the sequel to Conspiracy on the Housatonic, tells yet another story occurring shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942. Author, Kendall Svengalis has painstakingly included photos and graphics from the period, taken from actual postcards and other illustration of the time, offering the reading a glimpse into that bygone America. The story includes Ellen Anderson, familiar central character of Conspiracy, riding on one of the great marvels of railroad engineering, the 20th Century Limited, that ran from New York City to Chicago on the New York Central Railroad. Ellen is teamed with Natalia Boroskova, a refugee from Joseph Stalin’s bloodthirsty purges throughout Ukraine, Russia and other Eastern European countries during World War II. The two girls are headed to Gary, Indiana, a center of U.S. wartime steel production and a virtual suburb of Chicago. Ellen is meeting her father and Natalia is meeting her uncle. A famous high school in Gary, Emerson High, has a priceless art collection that is stolen and Ellen and Natalia work together to solve the mystery and dodge the Soviet agents who are tracking Natalia. If young readers have relatives who lived in the War years, they might be able to enjoy some fireside chats with them while reading Emerson, inspiring their memories and sharing the photos and graphics with them.
Mr. Svengalis provides poignant insight into the sad facts of the near extermination of many of these populations while weaving another excellent tale of intrigue and espionage. The very real anxiety that gripped our nation after Pearl Harbor is brought to the reader’s consciousness, providing a deep insight into a fearsome reality that most of us have never known. Ω