The Stolen Gem
A Vicki Silver Mystery by Alissa Wood
Review: Alissa Wood introduces 17-year-old Vicki Silver in the first book of a young adult mystery series, The Stolen Gem. The series is set in (fictional) Sport, Maine.
Vicki and her friend C. J. Summers look forward to their first case when a valuable diamond is reported missing, presumed stolen, from a local museum. They get hired as tour guides and befriend Rick, the security guard for the museum, who allows them access to places off-limits to visitors and other staff. When the girls are threatened, they know they must be close to finding the answers to what happened to the stolen gem.
The Stolen Gem borrows heavily from the Nancy Drew series of mysteries which works both to its advantage and to its detriment. On the positive side, the characters, plot outline, and setting are all tried and true winners and should be capable of sustaining a new series. On the negative side, the book lacks a fresh voice and that's a bit of a disappointment.
A more serious problem in this first book is that the plot details simply aren't well thought out. The premise behind the girls' investigation, for example, is to locate the missing diamond. It's found rather early in the book. The logical move here is to turn it over to the police. Case closed. But inexplicably, the gem is replaced in its hiding place opening up all sorts of possibilities for the thief to dispose of it before it is "found" again, and the focus suddenly shifts to identifying the culprit. The logic here doesn't follow. When the plot loses its credibility, the rest of the story suffers.
Though The Stolen Gem is a weak start to the series, the characters are likable and the action sequences are well done. With stronger storylines, the Vicki Silver Mysteries definitely has the potential to develop into an interesting series.
Acknowledgment: Summertime Books provided a copy of The Stolen Gem for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Stolen Gem: Maine
— ♦ —
The Stolen Gem by Alissa Wood — A Vicki Silver Mystery
Publisher: Summertime Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: November 2007
List Price: $7.95