________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 3 . . . . September 30, 2005


The Mask on the Cruise Ship. (A Dinah Galloway Mystery).

Melanie Jackson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2004.
180 pp., pbk., $8.95.
ISBN 1-55143-305-2.

Subject Headings:
Cruiseships - Juvenile fiction.
Theft - Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mysteries, stories.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Wendy Williams.

*** /4


“I’m twelve and a third, and my experience is nothing to sneeze at,” I objected. I opened my mouth again to continue...”I sang in radio commercials for Sol’s Salami on West fourth: Pastrami, Baloney, Not an Ounce that’s Phony!”

It was a great song, which I loved belting out, and Sol gave my mother, my sister and me tons of free samples.”


Dinah Galloway is, as she says, twelve and a third, and lives in Vancouver with her mother and older, prettier sister. She has uncontrollable red hair and worries about her appetite, but she possesses an impressive singing voice which, in this lively novel, gets Dinah a week’s booking as the featured entertainment on a cruise ship to Alaska, accompanied by her family. Dinah also has a lively curiosity and finds herself caught up in a mystery - why is someone trying to steal a valuable First Nations Mask which is on its way to be exhibited at an art gallery in Juneau. Transporting the mask on the cruise ship is Julie Herbert, stepsister of the more famous Dr. Elaine Herbert. While Dinah is singing to the passengers on board ship, she is also concentrating on finding out the identity of the black-clad and disguised thief who also seems to be on the cruise. Dinah has some triumphs as a detective and some funny incidents on the voyage, but she also gradually learns lessons about truth and identity, appearances and deception. The mask is not the only obvious disguise - other people are also hiding behind false appearances, and Dinah learns not to jump to quick conclusions about people. In the course of her detecting efforts, she finds out some surprising truths about herself and others, including Talbot St. John, the popular boy at her school who also turns up on the cruise ship. Dinah had previously dismissed him as too cool and popular to be interested in her, but now she finds again that she has misjudged a potential friend.

     The Mask on the Cruise Ship is another in the lively Dinah Galloway series, and it should be a popular addition. This book would make an excellent summer read, and it manages to make the cruise world seem accessible to girls in the audience age group.


Wendy Williams, of Calgary, AB, is a school librarian and confessed bookworm.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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