Review of “Luna and the Arsonists”, by Luna Challis

There’s a new menace threatening the area around the Adelaide Hills in South Australia.  And it is the worst kind for the dry, water-parched land and towns.

Pyromaniacs:  people who like to set fires and see how much damage they can inflict.

The police force of Charleston is at a loss as to who is setting these fires.  But even more puzzling is the presence of a new type of recording device they have found at several fire-ravaged sites.

Using a technology not fully developed by mainstream science, these cameras are baffling to the detective unit assigned to the fire-crimes case.  Who put them there?  Was it the firestarter, wanting to record his villainy?  Or someone else?

The devices are not unusual to the Gang of Four and their cat, Luna.  For it was they who put these technological wonders in the trees near places that seemed most tempting for pyromaniacs.  With the cameras, and their hidden friend Charlie’s technological expertise, the boys are able to detect a fire and alert the authorities (anonymously, of course), and thus get the fire snuffed out before it can do much harm.

But the boys are just as mystified as the police as to who is setting the fires.  No one is seen actually starting any.  But plenty of people show up on tape right before.

Is it one of their new-found friends, who have a thing for graffiti?  What about some of the other suspicious characters that have been seen hanging around lately.  And what is their connection to the kids with the spray cans?

A clue finally causes a chink in the unsolvable wall, and both the Gang of Four and the police close in on the culprits.  And even then, it is hard to tell who caused who to stray from lawfulness.

Once again–great Luna book.  She is such a cat’s cat.  From her perch atop her reputation as an innocent feline, she can observe the comings and goings of all.  She is welcome both in the police precinct and offices (“If only that cat could talk” is a frequent thought or comment), and in the secret lair of Charlie and the Gang of Four.  With her free-rein furry passport of cattitude, she can tell us exactly what’s going on.  But, just like her human counterparts, she has no idea of whodunit it til the very end.  This is what makes a mystery novel great.

It’s a pleasure to read this series.

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