Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Case of the Dead Man’s Treasure by Mike Mains


Genre:  Middle Grade, Mystery

Source: Purchased


When I read the first book in this series I was immediately taken back to my childhood and reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries.  As an adult reading these books I am drawn to books by Max Elliot Anderson and Tim Shoemaker. The reason is simple; these are books that are not only a great mystery but also carry a faith-based message.

 In book number two we find Jeffrey Jones and his friend Pablo are on another case and this time they are being paid. When their teacher is injured in a hit-and-run accident, he pays them to track down the car. The police don’t seem to have any interest in it, saying that there are way too many cars to be able to find this one. He has faith that this genius boy who was able to take him down in class in a game of logic will solve this case.  What he couldn’t see coming was  Jeffrey and his friends stumbling on a case that may just cost them their lives.

 I have to say that my response to Jeffrey besting his teacher through logic was not what most people would expect. As a teacher, I have taught kids from all over the world. If any of them could explain why they wrote something the way they did and it was logical then I gave them credit for it and then taught them the correct way. Sometimes perspective really does matter. Jeffrey has earned his first-ever “F”. He asks the teacher why and the teacher proceeds to read the question, tell him the correct answer, then read Jeffrey’s answer to the whole class. Unfortunately, Jeffrey’s answers are correct based on his logic.  It didn’t help that Jeffrey keeps badgering his teacher about the unfairness of the situation and how it did matter because it would affect his permanent record.  The flustered teacher gives him a riddle with the understanding that Jeffrey has only 60 seconds to solve it. If he is successful, he will change Jeffrey’s grade to an “A”.  I was cheering Jeffrey along. I have come across too many teachers who believe they are always right and students are always wrong.

 This kept me on the edge of my seat as I tried to figure out the clues. Needless to say, all these years of reading mysteries I am not much better. Out of all of the clues I was able to get only one of them correct and only a part of it.  My students are going to love these books.

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