A Mystery Series for Middle Grade Readers That Amazes and Engages
The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure
by Penny Warner
Series: The Code Busters Club (Case #3)
Paperback Reprint: October 8, 2013
Original Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Egmont USA
Awards: Agatha Award Nominee, 2014, Anthony Award Nominee, 2014
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Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E. are the Code Busters–clever clue hunters with a passion for puzzles. On a class trip to the Carmel Mission and the nearby Mission Trail Nature Preserve, the Code Busters learn about California’s only known pirate and his missing plunder. Now they’re tracking a new prize: pirate gold! But with a fortune at stake, the codes are bound to be hard.
Will the Code Busters be able to follow mysterious maps and figure out the tricky riddles along the way, or will this mystery be too difficult for the friends to solve?
This interactive mystery features more than fifteen codes and puzzles for you to decipher along with the Code Busters, including the Orienteering code, Morse code, and the Trail Signs code. Answers are in the back, if you ever get stuck.
This weekend, I’ve been featuring The Code Busters Club series. Friday I reviewed book one and yesterday I shared my thoughts on book two. Tomorrow I will review the new hardback release, as well as open up a giveaway offering my readers a chance to win ALL 4 BOOKS in the series! (The first three are in paperback and the latest in hardback.) So be sure to come back and try your luck!!
Penny Warner is again nominated for an Agatha Award for Case 3 in the Code Busters Club series, The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure. Once again, Berkely Cooperative Middle School is embarking on a fun field trip — this time to the Carmel Mission and the Mission Trail Nature Preserve. Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M. E. are on the case as the investigative team learns California history surrounding a pirate named Hippolyte de Bouchard who raided the mission in search of rumored riches. Turns out the treasure was so well hidden by missionaries that, not only did de Bouchard’s thirst for booty go unslaked, but the cache still remains uncovered! Sounds like a mystery for the Code Busters Club!
First, I’m convinced that Berkely Cooperative Middle School has got to be the coolest school ever! While book one, The Secret of the Skeleton Man, had Cody and crew finding mystery just across the street, subsequent cases have taken the foursome to local California points of interest. Not only do the characters — and by extension, the readers — learn history and decode hidden messages, they get a chance to solve a mystery! It wouldn’t be a pirate story without a hidden treasure, so fittingly the school field trip assignment involves a treasure map of sorts. The Code Busters’ pride is at stake as they race to find the solution before the rest of the class beats them to it!
Invisible ink and hidden messages play a notable part in the tale, and one cool element is seen when Quinn sends the Code Busters an invisible note via email. (He used white text which the recipient needs to change to black in order to reveal the concealed message!) In the back of the book, just behind the answer key, readers will be thrilled to find instructions for several different methods by which they can make their own invisible ink.
Additional pleasures are to be had deciphering Morse code in order to learn pirate speak, picking up nautical phrases used by the mission’s docent, and learning the new codes the author has thrown into the mix: Orienteering code, Trail Signs code, Periodic Table code, and Phonetic alphabet. As always, Warner has packed the story full of puzzles and games. Admittedly, it seemed there were a smaller number in book three, although as a result, the storyline felt tighter and more focused. Whether this was due to my increasing skills with the puzzles or a lower level of difficulty, I can’t be sure. What I can say with certainty is that reading a Code Busters Club story remains just as engaging and enjoyable as ever!
— Dawn Teresa
4 of 5 Hearts. A Mystery Series for Middle Grade Readers That Amazes and Engages.
Shiver Me Timbers! With Case 3, The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure, Penny Warner has again made child’s play of problem solving.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Egmont USA for providing me a copy of this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”