CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Eric Wilson.
Toronto, ON: Harper & Collins, 1989.
128pp., paper, $14.95.
ISBN 0-00-223495-5. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Detective and mystery stories-Juvenile fiction.
Chemical weapons-Juvenile fiction.
Québec (Québec)-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 4-8 / Ages 9-13

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson.

Volume 18 Number 3
1990 May

Members of the Eric Wilson Mystery Club will welcome this tenth addition to the "Austen Mystery" series, which features Tom and / or Liz Austen, early adolescent brother and sister sleuths. Wilson's pattern of setting each mystery in a different geographic location is maintained as Tom's Winnipeg hockey team plays in the famous Pee Wee tournament during Québec City's Winter "Carnaval."

Hockey remains a minor plot component, however, as Tom finds himself embroiled in solving a mystery with ramifications for world peace. The heads of state of the Soviet Union and the United States are in Québec City to sign an agreement banning the manufacture of chemical weapons; Tom witnesses an investigative reporter's murder by a poisoned dart. He discovers that the reporter had been inquiring about the goings on at the Enclave, a plant supposedly manufacturing chemical fertilizers. Ultimately, Tom foils an assassination attempt on the world leaders and thereby saves the chemical weapons treaty, and he uncovers the motivation and identity of the person behind the conspiracy.

Because the juvenile mystery genre demands that plot be paramount, characters remain types. The usual mystery ingredients - suspicious people and events, threats and danger, the chase and a kidnapping - are all present. Wilson establishes some Québec City and Carnaval ambiance by describing actual places and Carnaval events. As well, readers are reminded of the book's setting by the inclusion of French sentences or expressions.

Dave Jenkinson, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works