By: Norah McClintock
Publisher: Darby Creek Publishing
Publication Date: August 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 2013
Robyn’s mom had forbidden her to see Nick, but she didn’t have to worry because he’d disappeared without even telling her. He’d just up and left. Nice. Robbie’s dad tried to break the news to her gently, but what do you say when someone just leaves? Her parents were divorced and at least she knew where they were. Mac Hunter had been a career cop, but now he owned his “own private security and investigation business” and this week Robyn was at his place. Her two best friends, Billy and Morgan, probably wouldn’t be all that surprised at the news because Nick was trouble and maybe was into something he didn’t want her to know about.
Billy, who was totally into volunteering, was trying to get her to head to the homeless shelter to help out a bit. Places like that always needed help and it might help her get Nick out of her head. It was like trading one depressing situation for another, but Robbie would try to make the best of it. It wouldn’t be long before she’d regret she “had ever said yes.” Ben Logan thought she was just another one of those “two-four” rich gals who would leave in a day. She had 432 cookies to bake and she couldn’t deal with his nonsense nor that of Duffy, a scruffy homeless guy who was trying to fill his pockets with those cookies.
When Robbie confronted him, things got ugly and she ended up with a couple of stitches and a concussion. Duffy was banned from the shelter for a week, but pressing charges was out of the question. Later, when a “cold alert” was issued, Ben and Robbie were assigned to Eileen and went out in search of the homeless to bring them to shelter so they wouldn’t freeze to death. “If you hadn’t said anything to Mr. Donovan,” Ben angrily declared to Robbie, “Mr. Duffy wouldn’t have been barred from the shelter.” Robbie knew he’d frozen, but she knew an opportunistic murder when she saw one. A mysterious woman gave her a small photograph and a class ring he’d given to her for safekeeping, but what could those two little clues tell her about a man’s life?
Robyn Hunter is a natural detective that young mystery buffs will enjoy following. Robbie has a way about her that readers will love. She’s cool, calm, and collected and works hard to figure out how a couple of inconsequential clues can lead to the identity of a “scarred, cantankerous old homeless man.” Robbie takes a few suggestions from her dad, but primarily relies on her own instincts to lead her down a winding, mysterious path that could potentially lead to her own murder. As the twists and turns of the mystery deepened, I became very involved and interested in the conclusion. The characters were well-developed and the plot line was fascinating. This is definitely a series that has turned out to be a winner.
Quill says: If you want a mystery series with a "natural" young sleuth, you'll love the Robyn Hunter Mystery series!