CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 21 . . . . June 21, 2002
Although this novel is the third in "The Lion and Bobbi Mystery Series," the reader is not obligated to read the first two books to understand this one. Lion, age 12, and his older sister, Bobbi, are thrown into a new mystery when their father takes them to the Okanagan in British Columbia to investigate a friend who is accused of trying to sell his land illegally. It is quickly evident, through a series of "accidents", that the friend is being cornered into selling his property. Adding to the intrigue are the random and unexplained appearances of an adolescent girl who seems to be helping Bobbi and Lion in their own quest for answers and the appearance of a crop circle.
Unfortunately, the mystery is very thin, and the reader is able to deduce who the real villains are long before the adults (who are utterly blind, if not stupid) do. The crop circle and the "mysterious visitor" remain unexplained and exist only as superfluous literary devices to keep the reader motivated to read on.
Through the setting and the premise of the tale, Joan Weir makes a noble attempt to illustrate the importance and precarious nature of the environment in the Okanagan grasslands. Yet, the tale takes on a rigid and very contrived feel. As mentioned earlier, the adults appear somewhat thick, and most of the characters are flat and predictable. Those who enjoy mysteries and books in series may like this story. For most, however, there are better choices out there.
Recommended with reservations.
Neigel is the Instruction Librarian at the University College of the
Cariboo in Kamloops, BC.
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