A 13-year-old budding criminal analyst gets to go to forensics day camp in the summer and also finds a real mystery to crack.
Tabitha certainly knows what she wants to be when she grows up: a forensic scientist. She owns a copy of the Junior Encyclopedia of Forensic Science and knows the contents nearly by heart. At camp, it’s clear that Tabitha knows more than anyone. They have a crime to solve, one that has been staged by the forensics camp: discover who vandalized the school cafeteria kitchen. They interview the suspects on the list and take photos, measurements, and fingerprints as they learn the craft. Meanwhile, however, purebred dogs have begun disappearing across town, and the police don’t seem to be making those cases a priority. When the family dog of one of Tabitha’s campmates goes missing, she and the other kids team up to try to catch the dognapper using their new forensic skills. However, Tabitha and her friends might be getting themselves in over their heads and even into danger. Tabitha narrates, and Polak keeps the focus on her excitement as she works her way through not only evidence, but some new life lessons. Despite the big-city setting—Montréal—the cast does not appear to be notably diverse (or French).
Science and courage make for an appealing mystery for dog lovers. (Mystery. 8-11)