July-August 2011 | BEACHY MYSTERIES




New illustrated books take children on mysterious adventures through the Delaware Beaches and Ocean City

Written By: Nick Brandi

The folks at Mainstay Publishing have made their debut in the publishing world by cleverly killing two birds with one literary stone: They’ve released a new keepsake children’s book that not only promises to occupy vacationing youngsters for a solid 20-minute stretch but also gives the local tourist trade a little shot in the arm by promoting their businesses.

It’s called The Dubious Dolphin Dilemma: A Delaware Beach Mystery, and it’s 29 rhyming pages of glossy, full-color, illustrated fun. The story begins with one little boy’s discovery that in the midst of their family vacation he misplaced his most cherished toy: a stuffed dolphin with blue-button eyes.

Appropriately aghast — and fully aware that it’s neither in Daddy’s car nor Uncle Ed’s shoe — he beseeches his mother to help him retrace their steps through the beach towns of Delaware to reclaim his dislocated stuffed animal. Armed with nothing more than his wits (and a junior widow’s peak that would take Count Dracula aback), the boy and his mom hit all the spots they’d visited during their day of fun in Sussex County.
Along the way, they revisit such local hotspots as Kids’ Ketch and Bethany Blues, in Lewes; the Sea Shell Shop, Dos Locos and Henlopen City Oyster House, in Rehoboth; and Fifer Orchards and Grotto Pizza in Dewey.

Does the little boy get reunited with his beloved stuffed dolphin? Do he and his mom get stuffed themselves from all the Delaware beach eateries they’ve visited? Will the unsuspecting beach-town businesses ever recover from the debacle? To get those and other answers, you must pick up a copy of The Dubious Dolphin Dilemma: A Delaware Beach Mystery, which is available at any of the locations listed above and more.
Mainstay’s follow-up effort, The Plot of the Perilous Pirate, about a pirate who follows a treasure map through Ocean City, hit the Shore in June.

The Dubious Dolphin Dilemma: A Delaware Beach Mystery and The Plot of the Perilous Pirate are written by Denise Blum and illustrated by Melissa Walters. — NB

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