Daring Darleen, Queen of the Screen
It’s 1914, and Darleen Darling’s film adventures collide with reality when a fake kidnapping set up by her studio becomes all too real. Suddenly Darleen finds herself in the hands of dastardly criminals who have just nabbed Miss Victorine Berryman, the poor-little-rich-girl heiress of one of America’s largest fortunes. Soon real life starts to seem like a bona fide adventure serial, complete with dramatic escapes, murderous plots, and a runaway air balloon. Will Darleen and Victorine be able to engineer their own happily-ever-after, or will the villains be victorious?
The format is rather brilliant-- the font is very vintage, but still large and easy to read. The chapter headings are reminiscent of early screen dialog cards, and the cover shows the sort of outfit in which Darleen has her adventures, which will seem odd to children who wear nothing but athletic gear!
There is plenty of action and adventure, and I could practically envision the villains twirling handlebar mustaches while flinging capes around. The fact that Darleen dangles over cliffs and has adventures makes it even better.
Readers who love historical fiction will enjoy this look into the Hollywood of the past. Like Tubb's Selling Hope (2011), Cheaney's I Don't Know How the Story Ends,(2015)or Fleming's Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen (2018) this another is fascinating foray into early films.