Another easy-reading mystery from McClintock.
Robyn reluctantly agrees to volunteer at a homeless shelter, where a mentally disabled man knocks her down. Excluded from the shelter for a time as punishment, the man freezes to death on the streets. Feeling guilty, Robyn decides to try to discover who he was. She enlists friends to interview people in the neighborhood and other shelter residents, uncovering clues. Meanwhile, a sinister-looking man chases her, and shortly thereafter, someone mugs her, taking her best evidence. She continues following clues, however, until she cracks the case, learning that the homeless man didn’t start out that way. McClintock uses a just-the-facts-ma’am style that fits the mystery genre and keeps the text uncomplicated for reluctant readers. She relies on plenty of happy coincidences, such as meeting exactly the right people at just the right time to uncover major clues. Robyn also enjoys a bit of romance and copes with a delicate family situation with her divorced parents. She comes across as an attractive character, good in school and compassionate toward all. Yet she also demonstrates a toughness and determination that allow her to solve the case. This title publishes simultaneously with Book 5, Shadow of Doubt.
This series presents readers with nice, tidy mysteries and work as an excellent introduction to the genre, besides being plenty of fun. (Mystery. 11-16)