Review Detail

Mystery in New York City
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Dev, whose mother is the police commissioner in Ne.w York City, has never known her father, a journalist killed before she was born. She is lucky to have a supportive if quirky grandmother, and her mother has surrounded her with friends. These include an older sister figure, Natasha, who was coerced into coming to the US from Moldava and was saved from men who were brought to justice by Dev's mother; father figure Sam, a fellow policeman; brother figure Booker Dibler, who is African American; and exchange student Liza, who is from South America. When Dev and Liza are in the public library, they see a man steal a page from a valuable map book. Despite their evidence, which includes a fuzzy picture on a phone, Dev's mother is reluctant to devote police resources to their quest, so the girls investigate on their own. This is fairly easy, since they can run around the city by themselves, and Dev's grandmother puts her considerable influence behind them. No one even believes that the map was stolen, but the trio of preteens manages to pull together clues from the Internet and guest lists of lectures, and run the perpetrator to ground, solving map thefts all up and down the East coast. They are honored by the mayor with a key to the city.
Good Points
There's an attempt to be multicultural, the scene where the bad guy catches Dev and Liza was decent, and this could be a good choice for readers who enjoy Blue Balliet or other clue oriented mysteries about art thefts.

This had a very classic feel to it and reminded me of something like From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The dialogue was very formal and Dev is precocious and precious-- she rhapsodizes about her literary friends Pippi Longstocking, the Artful Dodger and Hercule Poirot. Dev and her friends are all fairly privileged, and are able to do a lot of their investigation because her grandmother is wealthy and well connected.

Readers who adore clue oriented mysteries like Beil's Red Blazer Girls or Runholdt's Kari and Lucas Mysteries will enjoy traveling about with Dev on her investigations and will wait avidly for the next book in the series.
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