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Blakeslee, Mary
Goderich (Ont.), Moonstone Press, 1993.
120pp, galley, ISBN 0-920259-48-0 (paper)
$7.95. (Lemon Street Gang Adventure). CIP

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Volume 22 Number 1
1994 January / February

Penny Campbell, eleven, the victim/heroine of  Death Drop, returns in this, the fifth mystery-adventure featuring the Lemon Street Gang, a quartet of pre-teen boys hailing from Pinterville, Alberta.

Though August finds two of the junior sleuths on holidays, Jason Ogilvie and David Shaw are joined by visitors Penny and Gerry Reece, the latter a onetime Lemon Streeter who moved to the city.

Almost immediately the group finds itself drawn pell-mell into another mystery as the foursome's night-time visit to the long abandoned and supposedly haunted Roxy Theatre seemingly brings them into contact with a ghost.

Pinterville experiences further excitement via two nocturnal robberies. In the first, some $300,000, the proceeds from a lottery run in conjunction with the community's Pioneer Days, is taken from the Chamber of Commerce locked safe. Since the safe's combination is known to only two people, one being Colonel Amos Blunt, a well-respected Pinterville citizen, and the other Ronnie Albright, a former juvenile delinquent, suspicion naturally falls on the missing Ronnie.

The second robbery, which is attributed to a tramp, involves foodstuffs being taken from a local delicatessen. Though the "ghost's" appearance and the pair of robberies seem unrelated, the young detectives, by chance and deduction, make the appropriate connections and solve everything, but not before putting their lives at risk.

As is to be expected in this genre, characterization is slight and the plot's pace is swift. A most acceptable additional to the juvenile mystery section.


Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and young adult literature in the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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