Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery that is lots of fun
Cons: Buried with the treasure
The Bottom Line:
And pirate treasure combine
Fast paced and fun book
Will the Accidental Detectives Find the Pirate Treasure?
One of the reasons pirates are so popular is their treasure. Who doesn’t dream of stumbling over a huge treasure and being insanely rich as a result? And the Accidental Detectives aren’t the first fictional characters to stumble into a hunt for a treasure a pirate left behind. But just because the premise is familiar doesn’t mean that The Missing Map of Pirate’s Haven isn’t wonderful.
Ricky Kidd, his friends Mike, Ralphy, and Lisa, along with Ricky’s younger brother Joel, are heading to San Diego. During the morning, they are to help Lisa’s uncle paint the house he just bought, but they will have afternoons to enjoy summer in Southern California. It sounds like a dream vacation.
After they’ve landed, Lisa’s uncle tells them a legend about a pirate that operated in the area a hundred years ago. He supposedly buried his treasure nearby. It sounds farfetched…until Joel finds two silver coins. Meanwhile, Lisa’s uncle is acting strangely himself. Will Ricky find the treasure and figure out what is going on?
I’ve read this book a couple of times over the years, but it’s been well over a decade since the last time. As a result, I remembered a couple of scenes, but that was it. Pieces of the plot came back to me as I read it, but I was once again in awe of how the mystery was laid out. Little things become big clues later, and every piece Ricky needs to solve the mystery is laid out for us. Yet I still didn’t pick up on everything.
And the characters are fun. They feel well rounded, which is impressive considering this is a 130 page middle grade mystery. It helps that the characters are teasing each other and get involved in some other things that make me laugh. Laugh with someone, and you feel you know them, right? I do feel that a couple of the characters introduced in the book make some major changes rather quickly. I don’t remember feeling that way in the past, and I’m sure kids won’t complain about that at all.
This series is a Christian series, and some spiritual themes are worked into the book. They are a natural outflow of the characters, however, and don’t feel forced into the book at all. Additionally, they never slow down what is a very fast paced plot.
Every time I pick up an Accidental Detectives book, I’m reminded just how much I love them. No matter your age, if you are looking for a great mystery, I can’t recommend The Missing Map of Pirate’s Haven enough.
Check out more of Ricky’s adventures with the rest of the Accidental Detectives series.
This review is part of this week’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.