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DESPAIR IN MONTEREY BAY by David D. Connell

DESPAIR IN MONTEREY BAY

Mathnet Casebook #2

by David D. Connell & Jim Thurman & illustrated by Danny O'Leary

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-7167-6505-5

 One of two brief mysteries based on Dragnet parodies aired on Children's Television Workshop's educational math program, Square One TV. Plotting is minimal--a detective duo catches a jewel thief when they recover his latest loot from the Bay. The point of the exercise is the math and science that assist the sleuths, especially using triangulation and accounting for waves, tides, and currents; a lot of other information, from geography to vocabulary, is shoehorned in with obvious intent, not too obtrusively. Unlike Jean George's far more thoughtful and literary ecological mysteries (The Fire Bug Connection, p. 721), what holds interest is less the science than the constant stream of determinedly clever puns and repartee. None of this is truly inspired, though much is funny; a few references are over the heads of the intended readers (e.g., a local, John Steenbeck, has a dog called Joad). Definitely recycled TV, but, still, an entertainment that enlivens the concepts it presents. The same detectives appear in a baseball mystery, The Case of the Unnatural (ISBN: 0-71676506-3); both are BOMC alternates. (Fiction. 8-14)