Saranac Lake The black fly on the Adirondack Carousel has gone missing in the newest book in the “Adirondack Kids” series.
The who-done-it book, “The Carousel Case, the Bicycle Race & The Blackfly Bad Guy,” will be released at a joint one-year anniversary party of the Carousel’s opening on May 25.
The father-son authors of the series, Justin and Gary VanRiper, will be signing copies of their 13th book at the Carousel, 2 Depot St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In honor of the Carousel’s one-year anniversary, the Carousel will be open for free to riders from 10 a.m. to noon.
The VanRipers — of Camden, just west of Boonville — said they knew about 10 years ago they wanted to write about the Carousel.
“We kept up with the progress of the project, and when we heard it would finally be opening we were ready to start writing,” Gary said. “Our mission and the Carousel’s mission are similar. We aim to fuse art, entertainment and education with our stories like they encourage education of the animals in the Adirondacks.”
Gary said one of the first Carousel creatures that was shown to the public was Bug-Eye the black fly that was carved by Walt Reuss and Rich Kraft and painted by Meg Bernstein.
“After 13 books about the Adirondacks, how could you not write a book about a black fly?” Gary said. “There is a sort of romance to a carousel in general with fun flashes of color, kids and family and especially a carousel with animals indigenous to the Adirondacks. It just sort of screamed ‘write a book about this to us.’”
In their previous books, the VanRipers have based many of their stories in the Fulton Chain of Lakes area (Old Forge, Inlet, etc.). The black fly also gave them a connection to Saranac Lake and to the Black Fly Challenge, an annual 40-mile mountain bike race between Indian Lake and Inlet.