April 7, 2014

[Book Review] Detective Camp (A to Z Mysteries: Super Edition, #1) by Ron Roy


Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are off to summer camp! And this isn't just any camp... it's a camp for detectives. The kids can't wait to spend a whole week following clues and learning about the science of crime solving. Soon the counselors have all the campers working on a mystery. But while Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are figuring out their part of the puzzle, they stumble on something suspicious. Could a real crime be happening at detective camp?



Detective Camp is the first novel of the A to Z Mysteries Super Editions line that continues the series past the dreaded letter Z. It finds Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose in Bear Walk, Vermont for Detective Camp, a small, brand-new summer camp where children practice their amateur sleuthing skills, as well as enjoy more typical summer camp fun: cabins, s'mores, and spooky stories. But of course, no A to Z Mysteries book can be complete without he kids solving a crime--a real one.

Detective Camp comes out a big longer than the typical A to Z Mysteries books, and it has an interactive element that young mystery enthusiasts should enjoy. But I'm also just a bit disappointed that Roy didn't forgo his typical "the kids solve a crime" for a more interesting (in my opinion, of course) "the crime turns out to be the camp's main attraction".

Which brings me to a bit of a side note: this would be a great idea for a series. A series about a group of pair or group of children who solve crimes is fun, but it's a massive stretch of reality; a series about a camp that creates mysteries for kids to solve is a fascinating twist to the genre and a really cool premise, I think. Much more realistic than having a couple of kids repeatedly stumble into and solve serious crimes, at least. If there's a series out there that operates like that, totally tell me about it; I'd love to read it.

Or perhaps it's something I'd like to write someday. ;)

Anyway, Detective Camp is a solid continuation of the A to Z Mysteries series. If it's anything to go by, the books are longer and aimed at an ever-so-slightly older audience, so they're perfect for an aging A to Z Mysteries fan. I definitely recommend the series, and I look forward to reading whatever else Roy releases under the title. The one complaint I have is that, unless I'm just watching the completely wrong sources, it doesn't get as much fanfare as it deserves; I've been waiting for the release of The Castle Crime (the sixth book) since The New Year Dragon Dilemma (book five) came out, and yet somehow I missed it completely. Evidently I'll need to keep a closer eye on the series so I won't miss the release of book seven!

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