________________ CM . . . . Volume III Number 2 . . . . September 20, 1996

cover How Can a Frozen Detective Stay Hot on the Trail?

Linda Bailey.
Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1996. 163pp. paper, $4.95.
ISBN 1-55074-321-X.

Subject Headings:
Carnivorous plants-Juvenile fiction.
Winter-Juvenile fiction.
Detective and mystery stories.

Grades 4 - 8 / Ages 9 - 13.
Review by Irene Gordon.


This book is the fourth in the Stevie Diamond Mystery Series of humorous mysteries for upper elementary and middle years students. The heroine Stevie and her friend Jesse go from their homes in Vancouver to spend New Year's with Jesse's grandmother and 16 year old uncle in Winnipeg. Prairie readers (including adults) will enjoy Vancouver-born Stevie's introduction to typical Winnipeg winter weather.

Ever since Jesse and I had started planning this trip, my mom had been driving me nuts. You wouldn't believe the stuff she dragged out of the closet--moth-eaten scarves, scratchy wool socks, even red underwear. You'd think I was going to the North Pole......The jacket was this old-lady ski jacket, stuffed full of goose feathers.

My mom had insisted on packing it in my suitcase, but I'd managed to dump it in the back of the car on the way to the airport. I'd also unloaded a few other things, including the Frankenstein boots. They were made of heavy rubber lined with thick felt and were so wide they were practically square. When I walked around the kitchen in them, I clunked.....(As they step out of the Winnipeg airport into -30 degree weather) C-C-C-C-COOOOLLLLD!!!!! I gasped. Tried to gasp. Like breathing ice...Freezing blast on face, chest legs...Hair lifted by icy, shrieking wind...Dragged though whirling, biting snow. Icy needles stabbing cheeks. Freezing gusts howling through armpits.

space Jesse's uncle Misha belongs to a horticultural club for people who raise carnivorous plants. When the club has its best plants stolen, Misha is blamed for stealing them. Because Jesse has been boasting to his grandmother about what a good detective he is (conveniently omitting the role Stevie played), his grandmother is certain he can clear Misha by finding out who really stole the plants.

space Mystery fans should enjoy the situations Stevie and Jesse get into while solving the mystery, including the obligatory " lost in a blizzard scene". The descriptions of the carnivorous plants and squeamish vegetarian Jesse's reaction to them should appeal to almost all pre-teens .

space I would highly recommend this book for all elementary and junior high (middle) school libraries and children's collections in public libraries.

Highly Recommended

Irene Gordon is a teacher-librarian at Westdale Junior High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently co-editor of the MSLA JOURNAL published by the Manitoba School Library Association.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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