Front cover for Thorns and Private Files in Oz
Back cover for Thorns and Private Files in Oz
Excerpts from a review by Margaret A. Berg in The Baum Bugle, Winter 1999
A new variation of romantic genre, Romance-Suspense-Mystery-Oz? Yes it is, with the young newlyweds Private Files of Oogaboo and Ozga, the Rose Princess; in addition, we also meet an unhappy couple: the enchanted Arnaude and an old hermit-witch, Madame Nevou of the rosy Kingdom of Cyrune.
Hank the Mule pays a visit to the Fileses. Ozga has had unsettling dreams about an enchanted Kingdom of Roses. The three go off on a little vacation to see if they can find a ruined castle rising above a hedge of thorns.They find it, but with dire results. Ozga disappears, and Private Files is frantic with worry, hacking down thorn bushes right and left. The hermit witch is responsible, but her familiar -a Canadian gander named Benny who has lost his flock- modifies the spell. Mr. and Mrs. Files and Hank return home with amnesia, a condition of their release. The unhappy couple's fate is not resolved, but the story does not end. It is "to be continued" in a subsequent volume. Of course, romance novels and Oz stories must eventually have a happy ending.
The real romance is about the illustrations. The sketches originally were a gift to an engaged couple, showing the loving pair as prince and princess surrounded by roses. They have parted with their treasured pictures to illustrate the book; the two rose themes blend remarkably well.