Mysterious Reviews Home

The Missing Marlin

The Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly

The Missing Marlin by David A. Kelly

Review: Mike Walsh and his cousin Kate Hopkins are in south Florida with Kate's mom, a sports reporter interviewing Miami Marlins players, when they discover strange changes in one of the Marlins' large aquatic tanks behind home plate — creatures seem to be appearing and then disappearing sometime later — in The Missing Marlin, the eighth entry in this series of early chapter mysteries by David A. Kelly.

Kate is the first to notice something amiss: "There's an endangered sea turtle in the Marlins' fish tank!" she tells Mike as they're leaving the park. Later, when she mentions it to her Uncle Oliver, whose company is responsible for maintaining the tanks, his associate Ned says, "But there are no turtles in the Marlins' tank. Your uncle and I keep tight control over what goes in there. One of us checks the tanks before each and every game." When they investigate the next day, the turtle Kate saw is gone. But all attention is on something else that is missing from the tank: "Marlin", a rare fish specifically bred by Uncle Oliver, which resembles a baseball!

Though most of the mysteries in this series take place almost exclusively at ballparks, Mike and Kate get away for much of The Missing Marlin to Uncle Oliver's Panther Park, a reserve for animals rescued from poachers and smugglers. It makes for a nice change of scenery and pace. The purpose for the reserve, and the mystery at the ballpark, are cleverly tied together, with Mike and Kate coming through with the solution as to why aquatic animals were appearing — and then disappearing — from the Marlins' tank and who took "Marlin". With its solid storyline and engaging characters, this is one of the better books in this entertaining series for kids.

Fun facts about the Miami Marlins and a few of the animals mentioned in the book are provided as an appendix of "dugout notes".

The publisher lists this book as RL: 2.7, mid-second grade reading level, for readers aged 6 to 9. A Lexile measure has not, as of the date of this review, been assigned for this book.

Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of The Missing Marlin for this review.

Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: The San Francisco Splash by David A. KellyThe San Francisco Splash
Random House (Mass Market Paperback), May 2013
ISBN-13: 9780307977793; ISBN-10: 030797779X

Location(s) referenced in The Missing Marlin: San Francisco, California

— ♦ —

The Missing Marlin by David A. Kelly

The Missing Marlin by The Ballpark Mysteries

Publisher: Random House
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-97782-3
Publication Date:
List Price: $4.99

Buy the Book (purchase options)

— ♦ —

Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites