Twelve-year-old Steve is thrilled when his enigmatic grandfather announces it is finally his turn to take a trip, but camping on a remote lake in northern Ontario seems pretty lame compared to his twin brother’s epic adventure in Central America.
The run-down cabin and meager amenities do little to improve Steve’s outlook. But when his grandfather reveals the real reason for their trip—solving the mystery of a famous artist’s missing skull—things definitely start looking up. Drawing upon the knowledge he has gleaned from reading mystery novels, Steve tries to piece together the clues. But the game takes a dark turn when his grandfather is kidnapped and strangers threaten him at gunpoint. Steve is brave, even risking his life to save his grandfather, but the mystery proves too difficult to solve. In fact, the meandering plot and random events may stump even the most resourceful sleuth. The reveal at the end exposes the reason: the game was constantly in flux. Featuring an all-white cast judging by the absence of markers to the contrary, this is one of a series of seven novels all published simultaneously and written by different authors; readers will hope the others are a bit more definitive.
A mysterious game that is unfortunately not that much fun to play. (Mystery. 9-12)