You may have heard of a Samurai, and a ghost separately but together, they are a deadly and unheard-of combination. They make an appearance in this book, but since it’s Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Ghost, the ‘meddling kids’ not only unmask the ghost, but thwart his plan in the process.

Penned by Jesse Leon McCann, this book begins and ends in the typical Scooby-Doo style, where a monster makes an appearance, destroys those in his way and is about to win, but then Scooby-Doo and gang arrive, and everything goes back to normal. To bring that normalcy, the cowardly Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have to act as bait, bespectacled Velma has to pick up clues, the accident-prone Daphne has to find a missing piece accidentally and gang leader Fred has to make the plan which may or may not work.

The only difference here is that the mystery takes place on the slopes of Mount Fuji in Japan, where a Samurai Ghost tries to scare away workers building a new children’s sports centre. How the Mystery Incorporated features into this story and how they manage to end the Samurai Ghost’s reign of terror is what makes this book interesting.

Written in a style that would be understandable to both the young and the old, the highlight of this book is the perfect depiction of Japanese culture. From Japanese food to Japanese festivities, everything is part of the story and doesn’t look forced.

It gives equal importance to all the members of Mystery Inc., especially the Great Dane whose ‘fraidy’ tactics always help the team, which manages to solve the mystery before it’s too late.

The best thing about a Scooby-Doo adventure — be it in the United States or Japan — is that when they uncover the villains, it is always a human being and someone who is part of the story.

That will keep you guessing while you are reading this book. Who knows you might guess the man behind the Samurai long before anyone else in your friends, family and acquaintance circle. Rooby-Dooby-Doo!

Published in Dawn, Young World, February 10th, 2024

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