Calling themselves the Mighty Muskrats, a team of cousins from Windy Lake First Nation in Canada set out to solve the mystery of a missing person.
Hired by a mining company to study the cultural value of potential prospecting sites on the reserve, the “bone-digger” archaeologist, Dr. Troy Pixton, has seemingly vanished while out conducting fieldwork. Chickadee and her cousin Samuel overhear Uncle Levi, a member of the Windy Lake police force, tell Grandpa about the disappearance, and the two enlist Samuel’s brother, Atim, and their other cousin Otter to help in the search. With very little information regarding Pixton’s last whereabouts to go on, the four kids race to their makeshift fort, a broken-down school bus parked in the community junkyard, to formulate a plan. As they interview community members, follow leads, and tail Uncle Levi, it soon becomes apparent that anyone—from elders concerned about desecration of sacred sites to environmental warriors dedicated to protecting water—could be involved. It will take teamwork and Indigenuity for the Mighty Muskrats to solve the case. The third-person narrative economically informs unfamiliar readers regarding Indigenous/First Nation politics, family dynamics, and concerns in an entertaining manner without detracting from the plot. Additionally, Chickadee’s rez-tech savvy pairs well with her cousin Otter’s bushcraft skills, and, along with Atim’s brawn and brother Samuel’s leadership, the four make a fine team.
From Cree author Hutchinson, an Indigenous version of the Hardy Boys full of rez humor. (Mystery. 9-12)