When the kids visit Dink's uncle in New York City, they're dazzled by the museum's latest treasure--a statue of a gold jaguar with a precious emerald between its paws. But when the jewel is swapped for a fake, the police name Dink's uncle a suspect! It's up to Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose to uncover the real crook. Who stole the jaguar's jewel?
In The Jaguar's Jewel, Ron Roy continues the trend of keeping the kid's families mostly off-page; while Dink's Uncle Warren is a major character in the book--a suspect, in fact--Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose's immediate family have still been almost entirely neglected. Some haven't even appeared at all! On a similar note, these kids sure do get to travel a lot. I think I'm jealous.
Anyway, The Jaguar's Jewel revolves around a small-scale art theft; Uncle Warren works at the Porter Museum, and our three amateur detectives are with him when he and Dr. Pitts unload and examine a shipment of priceless gold. But there's a problem: the massive emerald in the jaguar statute that just came in turns out to be a fake. While the police do their own investigation, Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose work to clear Uncle Warren's name and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Unlike many of the A to Z Mysteries books, there's a healthy suspect pool and quite a bit of pagetime is spent investigating false leads. As usual, the kids put themselves in immediate danger during their hunt for clues, but obviously the plot doesn't permit real harm to befall them.
It's a fun story that chapter book readers and mystery fans should get a kick out of, provided they're in the target audience. It's one of the last A to Z Mysteries books I read as a child, and though it wasn't my favorite of the series, I definitely enjoyed it.