Crime Through Time #1: Swindled!: The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan

Crime Through Time #1: Swindled!: The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan

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by Bill Doyle
     
 

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Breathtakingly suspenseful but never violent, this title kicks off a new forensic fiction series for middle grade readers. Young Fitz Morgan unravels a mystery aboard one of the new Continental Express trains in 1906. Readers learn about the real historical setting and actual crime-solving methods from the era. Illustrations.  See more details below

Overview

Breathtakingly suspenseful but never violent, this title kicks off a new forensic fiction series for middle grade readers. Young Fitz Morgan unravels a mystery aboard one of the new Continental Express trains in 1906. Readers learn about the real historical setting and actual crime-solving methods from the era. Illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Mystery, crime, and danger confront young Fitzmorgan, alias Fitz, traveling on a transcontinental train from New York City to San Francisco in 1906 in another episode of the Crime Through Time series. Although not quite fifteen, Fitz is already well schooled in detecting skills. Astonishingly another budding detective is on the train: Nine-year-old Justine Pinkerton, from the famous detective family, rides in the Pinkerton private car, which is well equipped with up-to-date investigative equipment. Just as well, because as the journey begins, a government agent is struck down with cyanide poisoning. It is also lucky that the famous Sigmund Freud is on the same train because before long, two other passengers need his medical skills. No one is as he seems on the train-even young Fitz turns out to be a girl. But what is behind the poisonings, and who are the crafty villains who have planned a major counterfeiting coup-a plot that has the train swarming with government agents as well as crooks? When the train reaches San Francisco, just in time for the earthquake, Fitz and Justine have uncovered the counterfeiters, and they are led off to get their just desserts. Sure to be fun for young mystery readers, this action-packed illustrated story periodically includes information about the real-life investigative techniques that Justine and Fitz use as they attempt to unravel the threads of a dastardly crime. It is a nice touch that adds to an entertaining story. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2006, Little Brown, 141p.; Illus. Photos., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 14.
—Rayna Patton
Children's Literature
The series title, "Crime Through Time," may give readers the impression that they are reading a journal based on historical facts, but the author's note at the end of this book explains otherwise. Fitz Morgan is on a train journey from New York to California to visit Aunt Elizabeth when he gets caught up in a mystery involving a poisoned train passenger who turns out to be a Secret Service agent. Also on this journey is Justine Pinkerton, of the famous Pinkerton detective family. She is riding on the Pinkerton Pullman, and it just so happens that the train is also equipped with a laboratory car. This special car provides the young detectives, Fitz and Justine, with the tools they need to hunt down their suspect. The plot depends on coincidences like these, which continue to turn up, assisting Fitz in his quest to be a world-class detective. Factual sidebars on detective work and other topics related to the story may be intended to give credence to the tale, but they tend to distract more than inform. Despite their spotty detective work, Fitz and Justine manage to uncover the real criminal, and there is more than one surprise in store for readers who reach the end. 2006, Little Brown and Co, Ages 9 to 12.
—Mary Loftus
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-These journal-style mystery adventures follow two teens as they solve crimes. In the first book, set in the middle of Prohibition, 14-year-old G. Codd Fitzmorgan attends a family friend's engagement party on a secluded island. During the event the groom disappears. Can G. Codd find him and break the bootlegger ring based there? In 1906, 14-year-old Fitz Morgan is traveling by train from New York City to San Francisco. Along the way some of the passengers are poisoned, and it's up to Fitz and his new friend, Justine Pinkerton, to solve the mystery. Both stories are laid out in similar ways. Both texts resemble handwriting, and black-and-white sketches, newspaper clippings, or photographs appear on most pages. The characters are well rounded and likable. With short chapters and the extra bits of information included in the art, these titles will appeal to general as well as reluctant readers.-Krista Tokarz, Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316084529
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/26/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Bill Doyle has worked as a freelance editor and writer at The Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, the American Museum of Natural History, Time For Kids, LeapFrog and Scholastic, among others.

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Crime Through Time #1: Swindled!: The 1906 Journal of Fitz Morgan 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought both Swindled and Nabbed for my nieces and nephews, but before turning them over to the kids, read them myself! The books each provide an engaging mystery set in a different time period, and give kids the opportunity to learn about events going on at that time. One particularly nice thing about the books is that they will appeal to a wide variety of children -- some will be taken with the story alone, others will really enjoy the historical angle and learning about the history of forensics and detective skills.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book parents and children will enjoy. We enjoyed reading this as a family and talking about the history included in the book. The only downside was the book ended! We are moving on to Nabbed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was looking for good reading selections as gifts for my nieces and nephews and I found this and Doyle's other book, Nabbed. What I got was a great reading selection! These books really captured kids' imaginations and left them waiting for the next book in the series. I am glad I picked it up.