Linda Fairstein is the perfect author to set a series of juvenile mysteries in New York City. Who knows it any better than the author of the Alexandra Cooper novels? Fairstein, a former prosecutor for Manhattan, utilizes the city's landmarks as essential elements in her mysteries. In the first Devlin Quick mystery, Into the Lion's Den, the New York Public Library's map room is the scene of a crime.
Twelve-year-old Devlin is in front of the New York Public Library waiting for Liza de Lucena, an Argentinian summer student at Devlin's school. When Liza comes out, she and Devlin chase after a man that Liza claims cut a page from a rare book in the Map Division. It's a chase that ends in the subway, but Devlin has a poor photo of the man. Unfortunately, no one believes the two girls, including Devlin's mother, Blaine Quick, the police commissioner of NYC.
But, Devlin believes Liza. Together with Devlin's friend, Booker, the three do research at the library, and, using a few resources at One Police Plaza, or the Puzzle Palace as Devlin calls it, they narrow their suspects to three. Devlin's online research, and their interview with a librarian, reveals a world of valuable maps and ruthless thefts of maps. How do three young people track down a map thief when librarians, scholars, and the police have not yet caught him?
Remembering the years when I read juvenile mysteries, I would have snapped up Into the Lion's Den. It features a trio of intrepid young sleuths, a library, and New York City sites. The three amateur detectives, led by Devlin Quick, utilize online resources, modern detective methods, and their own ingenuity to find and trap a thief. It's an entertaining, fast-paced mystery. I hope today's young mystery readers are as eager to follow future adventures of Devlin Quick as I would have been at that age.
Linda Fairstein's website is www.lindafairstein.com
Into the Lion's Den by Linda Fairstein. Dial Books for Young Readers. 2016. ISBN 9780399186431 (hardcover), 312p.
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