Reviews /

The Case of the Abandoned Boat

Authored by Kereen Getten
Illustrated by Leah Jacobs-Gordon
Published by Pushkin Children’s Books

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The Case of the Abandoned Boat is the third in the series of mystery stories for younger readers investigated by Di Island Crew.

Fayson and the rest of Di Island Crew are back together on the island and it isn’t long before they are involved in a new mystery. Their parents have received an anonymous email accusing the detective agency of being a nuisance to the island neighbours and so the crew set out to find out who sent the email and why. Whilst doing this they also discover an abandoned boat with two life jackets on board, one seemingly belonging to someone called Sam. With two mysteries already on the case load other strange things start to happen as it seems that books and video games disappear and just who is the figure found lurking in the house at night? Are there many mysteries to solve or are the events somehow connected to each other. The detective agency certainly has a lot to investigate in the third book in the series. But will their parent allow them to even keep the detective agency open?

This can be read as a standalone or as part of the series which started with, the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Summer, The Case of the Lighthouse Intruder. Kereen Getten’s writing is fast paced and engaging and the short chapters make it ideal for younger readers. The author was brought up in Jamaica and the setting and references to the food, culture and language really helps transport you to the island. This is further enhanced by Leah Jacobs-Gordon’s illustrations. Within the agency are children from different backgrounds and the story deals sensitively with themes such as wealth and the inclusion of Fayson’s Mum provides a chance to explore family relationships. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, especially Fayson’s Mum and look forward to the next case for Di Island Crew. However, at its heart this is a great adventure story which children will love to read. I would recommend this as a read aloud class novel or as part of a young reader collection.