FICTION

The Secret of the Silver Mines

200p. Nimbus. Jun. 2019. pap. $12.95. ISBN 9781771087032.
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Gr 3–7—When Dylan Maples's dad takes a century-old case of deception and theft in the old silver mining town of Cobalt, Ontario, the family moves north for the winter. But the locals don't want the case to be solved. It implicates the oldest citizen of the small town, Theobald T. Larocque. Shrouded in mystery and isolated in his old house, Larocque is a town legend, and Dylan can't resist a good story. With the help of his new friend, Wynona Dixon, Dylan hatches a plan to uncover the truth, help his dad solve the case, and pacify the citizens of Cobalt. But the deceptions of the past aren't buried, and danger waits in the abandoned mines.With steady pacing and a deft blending of history and mystery, Peacock crafts an engaging story, although much of the action in the plot happens not to the contemporary characters, but to Larocque. Layered onto the mystery are the challenges Dylan faces in moving mid-year to a new town, but those hurdles are almost superficially overcome thanks to a hockey coach who is willing to overlook Dylan's connection to the case. Dylan and Wynona's budding relationship with the reclusive miner is filled with stories offering historical information about the silver boom in northern Ontario and the rough-and-ready mine towns that sprang up in that era. The story ends with a dangerous modern race to the missing treasure, which wraps up the loose ends neatly and leaves Dylan ready for another adventure.
VERDICT Purchase where mystery and history are in high demand.

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