Kidnappers and Magic Shoes
Jarod's tenure as Lord Greenwood gets even more complicated when he and Tommy figure out that each object has information in a book on how it operates. The problem is finding the right book in all of the ones in grandfather's library. Matters are also complicated by the fact that Frederick still hasn't been ransomed, and Brindley turns out to be someone other than he has appeared. Jarod's mother and father are spending more time together, and he has a vague hope that they might get back together. After finding the Closet of Wisdom (filled with the shoes of famous people that were collected by his grandfather), Jarod and Tommy have to try to stop Jarod's mother from selling her diamond outside the family. It's bad enough that the clock has gone to Gaffie in order to get Frederick back; Jarod can't bear to see any more of his grandfather's legacy leaving.
There is more character development as well-- Frederick sees the error of his ways after his kidnapping, Jarod's parents are starting to see that the important legacy from the grandfather is not necessarily monetary, and Brindley is discovered to have a lot of hidden depths.
Death, Diamonds and Dirty Socks is a series that may appeal to reluctant teen readers who are attracted to short books that have older characters in them. The mix of kidnappers, magic shoes, and a huge mansion filled with expensive inherited objects is an unusual one.