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Perkyns, Dorothy.

Hantsport (M.S.). Lancelot Press, c1986. 92pp, paper, $4.95, ISBN 0-88999-312-2.

Grades 4-6
Reviewed by Patricia Skarzynski

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

Life perks up for David when two children his own age move to his small coastal village in Nova Scotia from Toronto. He takes a certain pride in showing them his private places in Hemlock Ravine, but to his consternation and surprise, they discover that someone else is also interested in the secret entrails of the valley. Their curiosity aroused, the children become involved in an intrigue that whispers of smuggling, but turns out to be more than anyone bargained for.

The reader is quickly drawn into the mystery and the pace does not really ease up until the end. The characters are energetic in their drive to solve the problem, but they are not however, fully developed. There is little to distinguish one character from another, except for Mary, who has the distinction of being the only girl. The three children are credible sleuths and carry the plot through their easy camaradie and enthusiasm for adventure. It does not offend the reader's sensibility then that the adults in authority (police, etc.) take a back seat in the drama and David, Stephen, and Mary play such a dominant role in the capture of the villains.

The book contains all the ingredients of a good mystery and has even a bit of a twist at the end. While the style lacks a certain polish, the author tells a good story, one that will be enjoyed by many young readers.

Patricia Skarzynski, Nepean P.L., Nepean Ont.
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