Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel)

Go To
The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) is a children's mystery novel by Ellen Raskin.

Nineteen-year-old heiress Mrs. Carillon is looking forward to meeting her husband Noel, whom she hasn't seen since their wedding day when she was five and he was seven, back when he was still named Leon. But almost as soon as they meet, the two of them are knocked off their boat by a wave, and Noel yells, "Noel glub C blub all.. I glub new..." When Mrs. Carillon wakes up in the hospital, she learns that Noel has checked out and vanished. Mrs. Carillon spends the next twenty years searching for him, using his parting words as her main clue.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel) contains examples of:

  • Arranged Marriage: Back when Mrs. Carillon was a little girl known as Caroline "Little Dumpling" Fish, her parents and Leon's founded a company called Mrs. Carillon's Pomato Soup. They had a preacher marry their kids to solidify their partnership. Then Leon was sent Off to Boarding School, so he and his wife never saw each other for the rest of their childhood.
  • Character’s Most Hated Song: the title character, prior to his disappearance, despises the jingle for Mrs. Carillon's Pomato Soup (To the Tune of... "On Wisconsin"), saying that it'll be the death of him. Many pages later, it literally is.
  • Flowers of Romance: Augie Kunkel, Mrs. Carillon childhood playmate, gives Mrs. Carillon yellow roses, her favorite kind of flower.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Mr. Banks, trustee of the Carillon fortune, points his finger at Mrs. Carillon while he lectures her about how her pointless search for her husband is ruining the business.
  • Homeschooled Kids: Mrs. Carillon was educated at home by her governess, Miss Anna Oglethorpe, a bony woman who was constantly kicking and poking her for daydreaming.
  • Legally Dead: Mr. Banks tells Mrs. Carillon that Noel is legally dead, and that if he were still alive he would have asked for money sometime in the last twenty years. Mrs. Carillon is convinced that he has amnesia and is still alive somewhere.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Mrs. Carillon wore purple-flowered clothes on her wedding day, and she wore a purple-flowered swimsuit on the day she met Noel so he would recognize her. Since his disappearance, she wears exclusively purple-flowered clothes so he can recognize her if they meet again. When she moves into an apartment, she buys purple-flowered wallpaper, drapes, and furniture, so people can hardly tell her apart from the background.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: Mrs. Carillon's parents forget about her twelfth birthday because of their work, leaving her to sing "Happy Birthday to Me" by herself. Her party is interrupted by the sound of the factory explosion that kills her and Leon's parents.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: In-universe familial example. Mrs. Carillon calls her adopted twins Tony and Tina "Tiny."
  • Really Moves Around: Mrs. Carillon moves to a new city every two months or so to thoroughly search it for any sign of Noel. After she adopts Tony and Tina, they beg her to settle down so they can make friends, so she buys an apartment in New York City and agrees to stay put from now on.
  • Starting a New Life: Noel fled the soup industry to start a new life as jockey Seymour Hall. He couldn't bring himself to tell Mrs. Carillon, so he told his friend Pinky to give her the message, "Noel is Seymour Hall. I am Newton Pinckney."
  • Waving Signs Around:
    • Mrs. Carillon and the twins watch a baseball game on TV, where fans hold banners that say things like "Massapequa Loves the Mets." Mrs. Carillon tells the twins to look for "Noel Carillon Loves the Mets."
    • When Mrs. Carillon is arrested for yelling "Fire" in Bloomingdale's (she was on the up escalator, she thought she saw Noel on the down escalator, and she needed everyone on the up escalator to turn around so she could follow him), Tina and Tony recruit a bunch of hippies for a protest march in front of the Women's House of Detention. They wave signs that say things like "WOMEN'S HOUSE OF DETENTION IS A PEST-HOLE" and "GRAPE MRS. CARILLON," written on a sign left over from the grape workers' boycott.