February 9, 
1996. Vol. II, Number 17

image Flikka and the Prince Edward Island Mystery.

Hazel Birt.
Winnipeg: Hazlyn Press, 1995. 150pp, paper, $12.95.
ISBN 0-969-3024-7-9.

Subject Headings:
Mystery and detective stories.
Prince Edward Island-Fiction.

Grades 3 - 8 / Ages 8 - 13.
Review by Donna J. Adrian.

image While exploring the woods near her Aunt Sanna's home in Prince Edward Island, her Aunt's cat brings eleven-year-old Flikka a ruby and diamond necklace. Flikka and her new friend Jay Dee return the necklace to its owner. She tells the friends that her father had buried the family jewels and that they had never been found.

In searching through the family mansion, the children find a map and the hunt is on. A frightening "Dark Stranger" keeps watch on their activity until Flikka draws his picture for the police and he is identified. With the cat as their saviour, the children find the treasure and return it.

Despite the superb accompanying pen-and-ink drawings, the story is episodic and predictable. There are several chapters that add local colour -- emphasizing that the setting is real -- but do little to advance the plot. And Birt's use of dialect is irritating.

But a far more serious defect appears early on:

"Aunt Sanna! Aunt Sanna!" cried Flikka hurrying around the side of the school, "Did you see that? Did you see how that dark stranger stared at me?"
"Who stared? Where?" Bewildered, Aunt Sanna looked up from cleaning her brushes on an old paint rag.
"It was a man riding a bike. A stranger. He looked half-mad!"
"Now, now Flikka, we get a lot of bikers going through here on their way to the Magdelene Island Ferry. Often they are French people. Did he look French?"

Does the author truly mean that French people can be identified by looks? Or that French people, (or bikers) regularly seem half-mad? I truly hope not.


Not recommended.

Donna J. Adrian is a Library Coordinator for the Laurenval School Board in Quebec.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cmeditor@mts.net

Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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