Samantha Stellar and her cousin, Paige, are off to a summer internship at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta—a dinosaur museum.
Sam is nervous about the upcoming internship due to a rash of thefts of fossils, heists that have occurred across Canada. On the bus ride to Drumheller, Sam, a white girl who figures herself as an amateur sleuth, spots a “mysterious passenger” with a “swarthy complexion” who looks “very Latin,” which computes to “very suspicious!” Dubbing him Agent D, she decides to keep a “covert eye” on the “dark stranger,” the bulge in whose jacket is obviously a gun. At the museum, Sam is paired with Jackson, a university student who works with her to sort through dinosaur fossils. When a vertebra disappears from the collection, Jackson is added to Sam’s suspect list. After all, he speaks Spanish, just like Agent D (although he is cute and white). She decides to get to the bottom of this case, especially after she spots Agent D in the museum parking lot. A series of nonsensical searches for Agent D includes a motel visit in which Sam uses “Marge Simpson” as an alias, successfully convincing the clerk to share confidential guest information with two 14-year-olds. The plot is clichéd, the dialogue cheesy, the protagonist beyond silly—and the easy racism never seems to be called into question.
There’s no mystery here: Skip it. (Mystery. 8-12)