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Friday, January 26, 2018

MG Mystery Series Opener Fun, Enjoyable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As the daughter of New York City's first female police commissioner, 12-year-old Devlin Quick is hard-wired to sniff out mysteries wherever she goes.  When one unexpectedly falls right into her lap, there's no way she can resist launching her own investigation.  Even if her mother warns her to leave the sleuthing to the professionals.  Policing is in Devlin's blood, so that kind of makes her legit, right?  Right enough.

Liza de Lucerna—an exchange student from Argentina who's staying with the Quicks for the summer—is sure she witnessed a crime.  While studying in the New York Public Library, she saw a man cut a page out of a valuable old book.  Although she and Devlin both tried to chase him down, the girls lost their suspect.  Now they have only a vague description of a possible criminal and an even more dubious account of his "crime."  No wonder no one will take their accusations seriously.  

Undeterred, Devlin vows to solve the mystery of the missing page.  With Liza and her friend Booker Dibble by her side, she collects clues that lead her closer and closer to the perpetrator.  And straight into the exact kind of danger about which her mother warned her.  Can Devlin outwit the thief and solve her first case?  Or will her unofficial investigation just get her officially grounded—or worse?

Into the Lion's Den is the first book in a new middle grade mystery series by Linda Fairstein, a bestselling author of crime fiction for adults.  In her pre-teen heroine, Devlin Quick, we get a spunky narrator who's smart, brave, and a little mischievous.  The novel's plot moves quickly, making for a fun, exciting story that will appeal to anyone who enjoys an engaging mystery.  True, the kids don't always act/talk like their real-life counterparts and yes, Fairstein is excessively fond of using character names in dialog, which bugs, but still ... overall, Into the Lion's Den is a fast-moving, delightful tale.  I enjoyed it and will definitely continue reading this entertaining series.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of York by Laura Ruby)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I borrowed Into the Lion's Den from my daughter's elementary school library as part of my volunteer work with the school's reading program.


  1. I love the idea of hooking students into reading mysteries while they are still in middle schoole!

  2. I would have loved this as a kid.

  3. I think I read about this one when it first came out. Sounds fun!

  4. Ha! I love your description, "yes, Fairstein is excessively fond of using character names in dialog, which bugs, but still ..." It made me laugh. And, that would bug. But, it sounds like it would be a fun story.


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