The Adventures of Jack Lime
A Jack Lime Mystery Short Story Collection by James Leck
Review: High school student and private investigator Jack Lime investigates three cases of teenage crime in James Leck's The Adventures of Jack Lime.
This line of work isn't all glitz and glamour, that's for sure. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's dreary, dirty and dull. It's about rooting around in dumpsters and eating a stale granola bar you found in your pocket for breakfast instead of your grandma's buttermilk pancakes because you're waiting for the morning paper to show up, and the kicker is, you're not going to get to read it.
Jack Lime — detective, private eye, gumshoe, last resort — solves problems for people. In "The Case of the Broken Lock", he looks into the mysterious circumstances surrounding a missing bike; in "The Case of the Daily Telegraph", he's nearly stumped by a nefarious blackmail scheme; and in "The Case of the Big Dupe", he relates one of his first big cases after arriving at Iona High, exposing a gambling ring.
Each of these entertaining cases is crafted in the style of hard-boiled crime fiction, with lots of descriptive statements ("I woke up in a fog as thick as a cup of three-day-old cup of joe"), plenty of thugs ("Bucky smiled, started to turn away, then spun around and slammed his fist into my gut like a runaway locomotive"), and beautiful girls to trip him up ("I thought I could get hooked on a girl like her if I wasn't careful, and I wasn't planning on being careful"). The mystery plots are well developed, and, though featuring older high school students and some PG-13 elements, are written at a slightly younger, middle school level.
The one aspect that doesn't work is portraying Jack as a narcoleptic. Not only is it unnecessary — it doesn't add anything substantive to his character, and it doesn't play into any of the plots in a meaningful way — it comes across as more intrusive than anything else. Possibly intended as a way to portray Jack as flawed, though, in this case, a character flaw would be certainly preferable to a physical one, but more probably as a way to make Jack more sympathetic … but to whom — other characters or the reader? — isn't clear. Still, this minor objection aside, Jack Lime is a likeable PI and his cases credible and interesting; a sequel to The Adventures of Jack Lime would be most welcome.
Acknowledgment: Raab Associates provided an ARC of The Adventures of Jack Lime for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Further Adventures of Jack Lime
Kids Can Press (Hardcover), April 2013
ISBN-13: 9781554537402; ISBN-10: 1554537401
Location(s) referenced in The Adventures of Jack Lime: None
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The Adventures of Jack Lime by James Leck — A Jack Lime Mystery Short Story Collection
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: February 2010
List Price: $16.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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