Intrepid sleuths and best friends Abbey Force, descendent of the former owners of Reward Plantation, and Bee Force, descendent of slaves on that same plantation, set out to solve another mystery in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
When Abbey and Bee witness the kidnapping of Judge Gator’s beloved dog, they are determined to find and rescue him. Snooping around in search of the missing canine, they discover that something much bigger than dognapping is going on on Leadenwah Island. Despite repeated warnings from their guardians, the girls continue their investigations, making enemies of some very unsavory characters, discovering a dead body in a truck and finding themselves in mortal danger on multiple occasions. Bee’s grandmother has become involved in identifying and preserving slave graveyards on the island, a passion that becomes an important plot point in Abbey and Bee’s perilous adventures while simultaneously adding a bit of a philosophical air to this otherwise plot-driven page-turner. Grandma Em’s interest spurs the girls to research their family histories together for a school report, an effort that enables them to acknowledge the difficult past they share while expressing gratitude for their friendship and their futures.
Nail-biting suspense, distinctive yet realistic characters and an abundance of local color will win this one lots of fans. (Mystery. 9-12)