Frankie Dupont And The High Seas Heist
SERIES: Frankie Dupont Mystery Series, Bk. #4
Written by Julie Anne Grasso
Illustrated by Alexander Avellino
132 pages Ages 8—12
“Frankie Dupont seems to catch odd-ball cases in the most unlikely places. You would think he would be used to it by now. When his next case lands him on a luxury cruise line full of devious chocolatiers with ulterior motives, Frankie will be expected to solve the crime, even before it’s committed. Although his mind is certainly up for the challenge, Frankie realizes his stomach is yet to find its sea legs. ” [back cover]
Frankie Dupont and his friends Kat and Amy are back for another mystery. After Frankie and his dad—born on the same day—receiving an odd birthday gift, the two—along with Kat and Amy—head off on a luxury cruise to Antarctica. Someone is after the secret chocolate recipe belonging to Madame Marie Fountaine, cruise ship owner and chocolatier. It’s up to Mr. Dupont (Frankie’s detective dad), and Inspector Cluesome—who seems more adept than in past stories—to figure out who the culprit is and protect the secret chocolate recipe—kept in the shape of the cruise ship, in pure chocolate. Meanwhile, Fountaine’s granddaughter, Maddie, asks Frankie, Kat, and Amy to prove the lead suspect in the chocolate thefts is actually her long-lost mother, and Madame Fountaine’s daughter.
I have always enjoyed the Frankie Dupont series because of the strange, yet plausible cases and the interesting clues. The likable characters were fully fleshed and their stories well-written, with unexpected twists. Kids will not be disappointed in this new Frankie Dupont adventure. A ship full of exquisite chocolate; headed to a harsh, uninhabitable continent; and a frozen deck for ice skating will speak to readers’ imaginations.
Frankie lost his childlike features with a change in illustrators with book 2. I still prefer the first artists’ images (David Blackwell and Samantha Yallope) of the boy with youthful features. He is still a kid. The artwork is okay, though adds little to the story (in one there is a blooper). But I don’t read Frankie Dupont stories for the illustrations. I read them for the fine writing.
I am a little disappointed with this Frankie Dupont story. Some elements are extremely obvious, yet smart detective Frankie misses them. The conflicts, twists, and resolutions seemed too easy compared to previous stories. I’m not a fan of Frankie’s return to arrogance, or dialogue—out-of-character for the speaker—spoken simply for a punchline. And, Frankie’s cousin Kat is not as smart as she had been. Other questions forced me to stop and check out a previous page to be sure I read something correctly. These are extremely out of character for the author, who is an extremely good writer of children’s stories.
Frankie Dupont and the High Seas Heist is not the best of the series, but still a fun read. Frankie has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I like the story, just gnawed on some of the details. What really matters is what kids think, and I believe they will like this new Frankie Dupont story. Eric at This Kid Reviews Books gave the book high praise and 5-stars. I looked forward to this fourth book because of the cruise theme, but mostly because I enjoy Grasso’s writing.
The Frankie Dupont Mystery books are wonderful for boys (and girls), and great for reluctant readers, thanks to short chapters and high energy stories. For kids who like Frankie Dupont, mysteries on the high seas, or stories with loads of chocolate involved will like Frankie Dupont and the High Seas Heist.
FRANKIE DUPONT AND THE HIGH SEAS HEIST. Text copyright © 2015 by Julie Anne Grasso. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Alexander Avellino. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Julie Anne Grasso.
Find Frankie Dupont and the High Seas Heist on Goodreads HERE.
Meet the author, Julie Anne Grasso, at her website: http://www.julieannegrassobooks.com
Follow the author on Twitter @Jujuberry37
Meet the illustrator, Alexander Avellino, at his website: http://www.alexanderavellino.com
Follow the illustrator on Twitter @lexavellino
Also by Julie Anne Grasso
Frankie Dupont Mystery Series
. . #1: Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor (artist: David Blackwell & Samantha Yallope) [reviewed here]
. . #2: Frankie Dupont and the Lemon Festival Fiasco (artist: Alexander Avellino) [reviewed here]
. . #3: Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage (artist: Alexander Avellino) [reviewed here]
Adventures of Caramel Cardamom
. . #1: Escape From the Forbidden Planet (artist: David Blackwell)
. . #2: Return To Cardamom (artist: David Blackwell) [reviewed here]
. . #3: Stellarcadia (artist: Lawrence Mann)
FRANKIE DUPONT AND THE HIGH SEAS HEIST. Illustrations © 2015 by Alexander Avellino. Used by permission of author, Julie Anne Grasso.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Frankie Dupont and the High Seas Heist (Frankie Dupont Detective Series #4) by Julie Anne Grasso & Alexander Avellino, and received from the publisher, Julie Anne Grasso, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. 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.”