This is a kids story reminiscent of the famous five with the same scenario of a group of eighth graders investigating a mystery, but this is set on St Fredericks Island in 1947 and the kids are the Buccaneers, so named after the famous pirate Jon Buccleigh who lived there in the past. The mystery they want to solve is who has stolen their collection money for homeless kids in NYC which they worked so hard to raise after it was stolen from the Vestry.
Sprocket is the leader of the group and so she is trying to write a secret note under the watchful eye of one of the nuns who run the school, just as she is working out how to hide it and the fact she hasn’t done anything of what she was meant to be doing, the fire alarm sounds for a drill and the evidence remains hidden for now. Later on, when Sprocket gets home, things take a turn for the worse when she finds out that their meeting place, a shack on the beach, has been burned down in the middle of the day, fortunately nobody was hurt, but a message needs to be passed through their secret system to tell the other Buccaneers the news, she wants to go and see it, so her mum goes with her and Frank (another buccaneer) joins her there. Someone else is there as well, a friend of theirs who lives in another of the beach shacks, it turns out he has been doing a bit of investigating himself and has found something, but needs to do some further questioning to find out what it’s relevance is.
On the way back fo Sprocket’s house, talk turns to the local newspaper and the articles both currently in it and plans for articles in the future, but as soon as they get there, something is wrong, it looked like someone had broken in, so when Frank is chased out of the house, it is a surprise to them all. As they lock up the house, talk turns to a Native American woman who has started to write a column about her healing arts, it turns out that she has had a threatening letter since starting the column and is a little worries, it turns out her daughter is in the same year as the Buccaneers, but not in the same class as Sprocket.
With this extra layer of intrigue added onto the stolen money and burned down beach hut, the Buccaneers agree to meet in an old cave to discuss what they need to do next and how they are going to do it, however, as they continue the investigation, they have no idea how dangerous it is about to become or how many people are actually involved, especially when the native american’s lady’s daughter disappears. Will the Buccaneers be able to solve the mystery and find out where the missing money and girl are, never mind who was behind burning down the beach hut, or are they in over their heads?
This is a mystery full of intrigue, danger and investigative espionage and even though it is a book for kids, adults will enjoy it as well.
Reviewed by @roxsannel