This nifty detective-style mystery series continues with a trip to a resort town and an investigation into a school for troubled boys.
Robyn, 16, has kept up her romance with Nick, the troubled but honest boy she met in the first book of the series, but they are parting for the summer. She travels with her friend Morgan to Morgan’s family cabin, getting a gofer job with the local newspaper and relying on her father’s old friend, Dean, the police chief, for advice and protection. She meets two young men from an establishment run by Larry, who teaches car mechanics to boys who’ve been in trouble with the law—and whose school Nick has joined because he’s suspicious of activities there: A friend’s brother drowned at the school, and Nick wants to find out if the boy’s death might not have been accidental. Robyn decides to help, writing an article for the newspaper as a cover for her investigation. Of course she snoops too closely and gets herself into real danger. Finally, murder looms, with Robyn, Nick and Morgan targeted as the victims. As always, McClintock keeps her narrative and sentence structure simple, fitting nicely with the just-the-facts-ma’am detective genre and making her story accessible to less skilled readers. She makes these accommodations so skillfully that her traditional-style mystery works as well as many written for adults—although everyone, often including the bad guys, remains polite.
Another solid Robyn Hunter outing. (Mystery. 12-16)