The Adventures of Jack Lime by James Leck Novel Review


Title: The Adventures of Jack Lime

Author: James Leck

Publisher: Kids Can Press

ISBN: 9781554533640


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Meet Jack Lime, private investigator, who solves problems for his fellow Iona High students. Sometimes he falls for the dames who hire him, sometimes he falls in the river and sometimes he falls asleep (he s narcoleptic). But rest assured that whether he s tracking down a missing banana-seat bike or a kidnapped hamster, or cracking open a trivia tournament betting ring, Lime will follow every lead.

Readers will identify with this funny, cynical sleuth who has the makings of a top-notch PI, though his personal life frequently goes awry. In these three stand-alone detective stories, readers will immerse themselves in an offbeat fictional world populated with eccentric characters where everything is not as it seems.

With its bland cover, I wasn’t expecting much from Jack Lime.  Happily, I was wrong.  This was a fun, fast read, and the lead character, Jack, made the book.  I love this kid!  He thinks he’s a tough guy private eye, reminiscent of hard-boiled PI’s like Mickey Spillane, but he’s got an Achilles’ heel.  He has this condition, see, one that causes him to fall asleep at the most inopportune times – like when he’s about to get into the fight of his life or get tossed into a river.  Makes it really hard to be intimidating.  Plus it’s just plain embarrassing!

Jack’s charismatic personality carries the book, which is comprised of three cases.  While I didn’t find the mysteries very compelling and wished that they offered a little more variety than finding the missing object/pet/person,  I did enjoy reading along to see what Jack would say or do next.  His escapades kept the pages turning. His bravado is tempered by a marshmallow interior, and the poor guy ends up with more black eyes than a family of raccoons.  His misadventures give his grandmother conniptions, and she sternly tries to keep him in his place.  Of course he’s much too dedicated to his clients to let a beating or two, or even his crabby granny,  get in the way of solving each new case.

Though on the short side and only weighing in at slightly over 120 pages, The Adventures of Jack Lime provides plenty of entertainment.  With an engaging hero who is humorous and insightful, Jack will have you smiling and wishing you could spend a little more time with him.

Grade: B

Review copy provided by publisher