Ahoy! It’s pirate treasure for a city sleuth.
New York City preteen sleuth Devlin Quick, white, and her African-American best friend, Booker Dibble, are spending part of their summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard at Booker’s grandmother’s home. They form a threesome with Booker’s 8-year-old cousin, Ezekiel. In previous titles Dev and Booker solved the mystery of a missing map at the New York Public Library (Into the Lion’s Den, 2016) and mayhem involving dinosaur bones at the Museum of Natural History (Digging for Trouble, 2017). This summer vacation is not all fun and games, though; Dev has a school assignment involving water samples and fish DNA. But then scientific exploration gives way to pirate adventure when Dev finds a gold doubloon. Dev, the daughter of New York’s police commissioner, knows how to handle the coin to best preserve any evidence of ownership, and that ownership could go back to a pirate “who buried all his treasure…on Martha’s Vineyard.” Fairstein’s narrative is peppered with factoids about the Wampanoags and the history of African-Americans on Martha’s Vineyard, book references, gender equality, good detective work, and bullying. Pirates, lost treasure, and pirate descendants round out the tale. Dev stays completely focused on determining proprietorship of the coin—a whodunit that, back home, takes her and Booker to a coin show at the Chelsea Piers in New York for a splashy finale.
Fans of the series will enjoy another outing. (Mystery. 9-12)