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Dear Musea Reader, 


This online version of the Musea issue #198 is a teaser. 


The print version of the Musea issue has the complete short novel, a children's mystery called Downtown With The Book of Renown, or "?"  Here I give you only the first chapter!  But if interested in reading more please see all the main book streaming sites on the net.  It's there and waiting to be read!


Next I include two reviews of the complete novel that have come in.  Very flattering! And at the end some in house news such as the latest on the Texas Video Showdown.


So here you go - the intro and first chapter of Downtown With The Book of Renown, followed by what the critics are saying




Happy Holidays Musea Readers!! This is a special, limited edition, BIG, issue of Musea.  It’s our annual Musea Christmas Story (though this story is more mystery than holly).  Take a rest from your busy schedule and find out what Brad and Tommy are up to. (Later this will be a book, so stay tuned for that.)  I wish you all a great Christmas season and an even better New Year and 2016. See you then - Tom





Chapter One.  The Signal.


Upstairs in his room, Tom had just opened a new mystery book.  He read the first line, a grabber, "It was a dark and stormy night..."  Three pebbles hit his window.  The signal!

Tom tossed his book aside and rushed to open the window.  Down below, beyond the hedge, looking up, was his friend Brad.  He looked like he had been beat up!

Tom:  What happened to you?

Brad: I've been beat up by a gangster.  Then he got murdered.  But I've got bigger news!  Go to the front door and let me in.

Tom closed the window and tiptoed down the stairs.  Before he could go 2 steps the doorbell rang.  How could Brad get round the house that fast! 

Both his parents were dressed up and heading for the door. They opened it.  Under the porch light was Mr. and Mrs. Baker, Brad's parents.

W. Hendricks: Hi folks. Glad to see you.

He ushered them inside. Brad came round the corner of the landing and followed his parents into the house. 

Rose Hendricks: (When she saw Bradley all bandaged, she gasped, and turned to his mother.) What happened to Bradley?

Mrs. Baker:  You won't believe the day this boy's had...

Brad: (Feeling embarrassed at being fussed over, interrupted them.) I'll go find Tommy.

Brad headed up the stairs, saw Tom, and went with him back in to his room.  The four parents went into the living room and sat down.



Title:  Downtown With the Book of Renown

Subtitle:  ?

Author:  Tom Hendricks

Genre:  Young Adult - Mystery


Overall  5 of 5 Stars


Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite


Downtown With the Book of Renown: Question Mark is a young adult

short mystery story written by Tom Hendricks. Tom and Brad love

mystery stories, and the two boys found themselves right in the middle of

their own mystery/adventure after Brad’s strange accident outside the

basement cafe where he and his parents were eating. Brad had finished

early and decided to look around outside the cafe while his parents

finished their meals. A large man rushed out from behind them and raced

to the door, knocking into Brad and causing him to fall down. Brad was

trying to get back onto his feet when he heard loud voices and gunshots

from the street level. He could see the fat man's body half hanging over

the wall over his head, and he noticed the man's hand opening. A small

black book fell from his fingers and landed right near Brad's shoe. He

couldn't help but grab it and put it in his pocket. What he found inside was

quite irresistible indeed.

Who can resist the lure of a treasure map? I certainly couldn't, nor would

I have expected mystery buffs, Tom and Brad, to do anything more than

follow the clues. Tom Hendricks' short mystery story for young adults,

Downtown With the Book of Renown: Question Mark, sparkles with

excitement and energy as the two adventurers travel downtown in search

of treasure. The reader is privy to the enhanced effects their enthusiasm

lends to even the most prosaic everyday scenes witnessed from the

windows of a public bus, and one can't help but get more and more

involved as they near the spot marked X on the map. I had a marvelous

time reading Downtown With the Book of Renown. Tom and Brad’s

adventure was reminiscent of those classic Hardy Boys adventures I grew

up reading, and I'm sincerely hoping to read more of their further

adventures. While geared toward a young adult audience, preteen

readers and adults who are still young-at-heart will most likely enjoy

Downtown With the Book of Renown as much as I did. It's most highly




Title:  Downtown With the Book of Renown

Subtitle:  ?

Author:  Tom Hendricks

Genre:  Young Adult - Mystery


Overall  5 of 5 Stars


Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite


The synopsis for Downtown with the Book of Renown by Tom Hendricks

goes like this: “Two boys have one big adventure, when Bradley finds a

treasure map and two keys in a memo book from the hand of a dead

gangster. He names it the ‘Book of Renown.’ The map in the Book of

Renown leads him and his friend Tom downtown to the Clarks Hotel. But

how will they get inside, and what treasure will they find if they do?”

Though I thought this blurb intriguing, I also felt it a little meager. As it

turned out, it was perfect and the answer to the question was not close to

anything I imagined.

I would not have known what to write as a review of this little story had I

not done some investigation into the author and his other published

works. With that information came enlightenment, so to speak. That

Downtown with the Book of Renown is a well written, delightful read is,

for me, a positive sign of Mr. Hendricks' imagination and writing skills.

That it is also far off the current standard for fiction storytelling regarding

plot, characterizations, dialogue, narrative detail and backstory is both

intriguing and refreshing. It reads more like a script or screenplay, with

little location description or narrator detail. Dialogue is written with the

name of the speaker, followed by a semi-colon and then the words. There

are no adverbs or adjectives to show the speaker’s emotional state; the

author leaves that to me (and you) the reader. Excellent! Conversely, it

misses the mark of purebred script/screenplay by quite a lot, as well.

I discovered that all of Mr. Hendricks’ written work follows this style to

some degree and that it is intentional. The author’s stated goal is to “give

an alternative to generic corporate arts.” He has accomplished this

objective with resounding success. I am a new fan and I will read more

by this author.




Musea #198: Annual Christmas Story Issue:  Nov/Dec/Jan 

(c) Tom Hendricks 2015 - Art work too.

[Note:  Some copies of this limited edition issue, may have a color cover. ]


Musea is: Tom Hendricks 4000 Hawthorne #5 Dallas Texas 75219

email:  / or search my name in wikipedia

Websites: (zine)// (music)// (blog)


BIG NEWS:  The "TEXAS VIDEO SHOWDOWN" is my YouTube indie challenge to all the corporate pop stars.  Search those 3 words and please vote for me.


More BIG NEWS: CD Baby recently posted to YouTube, 150 videos of my music - one for every song I recorded!!!  To find them search,  CD Baby + Hunkasaurus. 


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