Three young members of the Silver Jaguar Society team up with a Costa Rican 10-year-old to find the stolen Jaguar Cup, a pre-Columbian gold artifact hidden at a rain-forest ecolodge.
Anna, José and Henry, fresh from their rescue of the Star-Spangled Banner, described in Capture the Flag (2012), are sent to wait at the lodge Sofia’s father runs not too far from the Costa Rican capital, San José, while the adults responsible for them plan to begin their search for the priceless object. But the thief and his even more dangerous pursuer are staying at this same out-of-the-way sanctuary. This fast-paced mystery makes good use of the rain-forest setting as the young people encounter venomous snakes, biting ants and endangered great green macaws. A hanging, swaying bridge and a long zip line play important parts in suspenseful chase scenes. While the episode resolves satisfactorily, the ringleader of a gang of international art thieves, who now knows and hates them personally, has escaped. There’s plenty of room for a third book in this gripping series. Readers who care to know more about characters may want to start with the first title; this one is all plot and setting, a gratifying page-turner.
Aptly titled, this energetic treasure hunt is sure to find an enthusiastic audience. (Mystery. 8-12)