Chasing a saboteur at the art show is a bit outside of “retrieval specialist” Jeremy Wilderson’s wheelhouse.
Jeremy’s glad to be free for the summer, but being out of school doesn’t liberate him from the unwanted attentions of self-appointed school detective (and neighbor) Becca Mills, aka “the snitch,” who thinks he’s a thief rather than someone who returns items to their rightful owners. His best friends, Case and Hack, still don’t know that Jeremy secretly teamed up with Becca during the last school year to catch a real thief (Under Locker and Key, 2017), and he wants to keep it that way. Case, a talented forger and aspiring artist, is a contender for a sweet prize at the Scottsville Youth Art Show and Competition, but when someone starts throwing paint on the best pieces in the show before the judges can see them, Jeremy’s desperate to save his friend. Then the unthinkable happens: Becca grudgingly asks for Jeremy’s help in catching the saboteur. Jeremy knows 1) he has to be there to mitigate the damage Becca’s questionable skills as a detective can do; and 2) they made a good team before…this might be his only chance to help Case. Hymas’ second twisty caper is fun if a bit too long; since it mostly takes place over the course of one afternoon, did it really need 300-plus pages? Readers will enjoy spending time with the realistic characters, who seem mostly to be white.
The whiz-bang close will satisfy, but a bigger mystery and a startling discovery presage a third adventure. (Mystery. 8-12)