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Detective Camp: A to Z Mysteries®    by Ron Roy order for
Detective Camp
by Ron Roy
Order:  USA  Can
Random House, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

It is labeled as Super Edition #1 All-New in the Stepping Stone Book™ series, A to Z Mysteries®. Detective Camp is a super read about three friends who share a common interest - solving mysteries. From their hometown of Green Lawn, Connecticut, Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose arrive in Bear Walk, Vermont at the campus of an out-of-the-ordinary week of detective summer camp.

On the campus is a washhouse, barn, log cabins, central lodge, and a Meeting Circle aside Shady Lake. Activities are overseen by three teenage counselors. The camp was founded on the property of, and by, Michael and Bessie Darby, all because they loved to read mysteries (and their home bookshelves are loaded with samples). Mademoiselle Musee is employed to skillfully clean the special paintings hanging on the walls of the Darby home.

The first order of the day, after the twenty-six campers settle in their cabins, is to be at the Meeting Circle in ten minutes. As Josh places his sleeping bag on his bunk, he notices a locked chest underneath it. Hmm, observant Josh is onto the start of a mystery already. At the Circle, they are given a list of instructions for daily activities, such as, swimming, chores, and canoeing, but most exciting of all is that a real detective, Detective Robb, will be giving mystery-solving, and fingerprinting/forgery lessons.

A 'Marvelous Mystery Map' has been cut into twenty-six pieces, and each camper is given a card marked with an alphabet letter (a clue as to where a piece of the map can be found). And what a great treasure hunt it is! But another mystery arises, a finger ring that belongs to Mademoiselle Musee has been lost. Ruth Rose finds it under her mattress, but who placed it there and why? This is just the beginning of a trail that leads Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose to the mystery of stolen paintings.

Ron Roy includes a Dear Readers message at the end of the book, in which he tells of the fun he had as a youngster at summer camp. Roy also writes stories in the Capital Mysteries series, and is already at work on the next Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose mystery. Illustrator John Steven Gurney provides shaded, pencil sketches of the campgrounds, portraying campers with expressive faces.

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