I'm a fan of the world Rebecca M Hale has created in her antique shop series. She has a very good sense of mystery, humour, and unique description. She ties numerous details and threads together exceptionally well, which is why less favourable habits don't deter me from reading whatever this lady publishes. However I address those too, in explanation of my ratings and perhaps to encourage editing from a very worthwhile author.
Images that stand out tremendously well are 'Clem's "waggling eyebrows", pandering to children on stage. Monty has woeful, fist-shaking reactions to nude runners thrice obstructing a newspaper photo. Old-timer circus signs are re-enacted cleverly, harkening back to Mark Twain's jocularity. An advertisement might read: "(There will not be) an elephant riding an aeroplane in tent #3"! Rebecca uses a statue monument to fill in information Clem's orations don't get to; a neat touch. Imagination was on overload when we received council from bricks in a dressing room wall!
The moon seeking the travelling party nightly wasted space, like the technique to show every character's perspective. Different angles might propel the action but not backing-up to reintroduce each segment. This includes people we don't care about, like Harold and commentators at a multiple city bicycle race. I thought detail went into the sportscasters because they'd become involved with the quest. The pace slowed for not. Harold's detour to enter frogs in a race was also useless, though I appreciate the well-trained critters. Where Rebecca excels is educating with facts, while maintaining and reinforcing great interest. Numerous California towns and historical events were tackled seamlessly in this volume.