The Buccaneers of St. Frederick Island by Linda Maria Frank.
What can possibly happen when a crime happens under the very noses of a group of very savvy eighth graders at St. BeSillius’ Catholic School on St. Frederick’s Island? When the money they raised to buy toys for children in homeless shelters in near-by NYC is stolen, the Buccaneers, as they call themselves are outraged. Despite warnings from Father Felix and Sr. Jo, Sprocket, the leader of the Buccaneers, and her determined buddies set out to follow the clues, run down the thief, and get those toys for the homeless kids.
When their clubhouse is burned down, and a threatening letter is sent to the local newspaper, The Foghorn, owned and operated by Sprocket’s mother, the Buccaneers are even more determined to unravel the plot against them. A mysterious island once owned by the pirate, Jon Buccleigh and a labyrinthine cave serve as the setting for this skullduggery. A Native American healer, her community, and a group of the beach people conspire with the Buccaneers to get that money back.
You will be laughing at some of the Buccaneers’ antics and gasping at what those brave eight-graders face to solve the mystery. The story is rich with colorful and engaging characters as well as the flavor of post-war America in 1947. An altogether fun and satisfying read.
5 Stars: Adventure sure to capture a young reader’s imagination.
.Author Linda Maria Frank begins this book with her historical notes about where the story originated from. This is very educational for young readers as it addresses her earliest memories in Middle Village, Queens, New York at the end of WWll.
The story begins at St. BeSillius’s (catholic school), where mystery Author Linda Maria Frank sets the stage for more than one intriguing mystery (wrapped into one), that in my opinion, out preforms the Nancy Drew mysteries that I read as a young reader.
Within the walls of a small clubhouse (shack) a small band of school friends broke through the strict, stifling, constrictions of the classroom regiment, set in stone, by Sister JoAnn and Mother Superior. This tiny band of self-proclaimed private investigators, set out to find out, who stole the money they had spent an entire year earning, for a class trip to distribute toys to day care centers in the parish. The money disappeared from the Vestry (small room behind the alter); the very day Father Felix was supposed to open a bank account for the school project.
This small band of PIs came with an official title “Buccaneers (meaning pirates) of St. Besillius”. They wrote up and voted on a charter (agreement) for their group, which included:
- Each member is sworn to secrecy, under pain of… what? Oh, I don’t know.
- All clues are to be shared by everyone.
- All communications would be done using our code names. Mine is Sprocket.
- Our meeting place would be the old fishing shack on the beach.
The hunt for the mystery thief begins, which only leads to more mystery, danger, intrigue and an ominous warning letter. Each club member had responsibilities related to their investigation. Club name Ratchet (real name Amelia) with her camera (Brownie) was the official photographer. Let me bring you into the story at Chapter Fifteen: Meanwhile, At the Ferry Dock.
…Ratchet would much rather be called by her real name, Amelia. Especially since one of her heroines was Amelia Erhardt, the aviatrix who made news-worthy flights around the world. She disappeared somewhere in the Pacific, never to be found. Ratchet just couldn’t resist the mystery of it all.
…However, she would be true to her oath as a Buccaneer and fulfill her mission. She struggled with how to accomplish this. Most days she went to the ferry dock dressed in her reporter’s costume consisting of a many- pocketed jacket, borrowed men’s trousers, a cap with a green visor, and several cameras strung around her neck, most of which did not work.
…But her trusty Brownie never failed her. Notepad in hand she snapped photos of the ferry passengers going to and from Main. She was too shy, at this point, to go up to them and get that “scoop”.
…Today was different. She didn’t want to stand out like a sore thumb. Surveillance required melting into the scenery. The outfit for this assignment had her pigtails tucked into a red bandana, her thick lensed glasses hidden behind her dad’s aviator shades, and a dark blue jumpsuit, two sizes too big, borrowed from her brother who worked at Fred’s only gas station. She was channeling Rosie the Riveter. Rosie, as you may have heard, was another heroine in American history. She and her millions of sisters made the planes, tanks and ships that won the recent World War. Since the war effort for Rosie was over for now, Amelia still stuck out like a sore thumb.
…“Hey, Sis. Halloween’s over,” called out one of the day trippers.
…Embarrassed, she hid the bandana and pulled out her braids. She kept the glasses, and the coveralls were a must, since taking them off meant she would be walking around in her undies.
…It was getting pretty boring. What was she thinking? This is a lame idea, but duty called, and she settled herself more comfortably. The scents of tar, salt water, and creosoted wood planking joined the piney aroma of the hemlocks to provide a perfume Amelia came to call home.
…Amelia looked up just in time. Janet trotted down the path to the ferry dock. She could have missed her because she had a jacket with a hood. But Janet always wore beaded moccasins and her pigtails had feathers instead of bows. One braid escaped the hood sealing her identity for Amelia.
…Amelia, now in Ratchet mode, started snapping again.
…Janet turned her way and Ratchet’s heart almost stopped. Ratchet knew how important it was to identify Janet as Janet in her series of photos. Taking a breath and holding it, she snapped away.
…When Ratchet returned to check out the folks getting off the ferry, the strangers she had seen on other days came down the gangplank. Snap! Snap! Snap! They surrounded Janet, one grabbing her arm, the other talking to her, right in her face, grim and threatening. Janet pulled her arm away and snapped back at the stranger who had confronted her.
…The other man jammed something in her pocket. “Just do it,” he growled. This was an easy lip read for Ratchet, a skill necessary for a well-trained snoop, er, journalist. Janet turned and ran back up the path. The men got back on the boat.
…What did the stranger put in Amelia’s (Ratchet) pocket?
I encourage you to purchase “The Buccaneers of St. Frederick Island” by Linda Maria Frank and share it with all the children in your life. This book would make a great summer reading project for kids. This story will spark their imagination and inspire he/she to create their own clubhouse of friends and become private investigators
Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).
Review by Angela Reich: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Mystery, Adventure and Fun! Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2021. Lily Dawes, a.k.a. Sprocket, leads the Private Eye group called the Buccaneers of St. BeSillius on a perilous hunt for a cache of money stolen from their school in this rollicking tale of adventure, danger, and mystery.
It seems that Lily, in forming this group along with her classmates, had all agreed to a charter and special code names. Some of the points of the charter are, in brief, “Each member is sworn to secrecy… All communications will be done using our code names…Our meeting place would be the old fishing shack on the beach…” The group operates as a team and is ferocious in its commitment to solve crimes, right wrongs, and protect the innocent from harm.
Writer Linda Maria Frank has done it again, as she has in the Annie Tillary Mysteries with this new mystery story meant for middle school readers, replete with an isolated island accessible only by ferry, dangerous caves, stories of pirates of the past, and mystifying strangers who come and go.
The characters include a mixture of WWII veterans, a Native American Healer, Lily’s mother who writes and publishes the island’s newspaper, the faculty of St. BeSillius Catholic School and Lily’s comrades-in-arms. Into this mix, Frank manages to drop hints and clues, carefully planted along the way as the mystery of the missing money grows much more serious and threatening than a simple robbery. The complexity of the tale is carefully woven, and as the tension mounts and the crime is solved, each detail is carefully revealed to the satisfaction of the characters and the readers alike.
Frank both entertains and educates, stimulating the young reader’s curiosity, encouraging deductive reasoning skills, as well as dropping information about science, American History, and Native American Culture. All this is accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Marianne Savage.
Frank’s dry sense of humor and conversational tone is the icing on the cake for any reader who dares to go along with the Buccaneers for this enjoyable adventure!
Review by Frances O’Sullivan: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Engaging and enjoyable read. Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2021. The Buccaneers of St. Frederick Island by Linda Maria Frank is possibly best described as an American Secret Seven. Set in the late 1940s, it follows a group of young teenagers who enjoy solving mysteries and are relentless in their pursuit of the truth. It has everything you’d expect – code names, clever ways of conveying information and some pretty cool hiding places (there’s even a cave!).
There’s a lively cast of child characters, as well as supporting adults. Some of the adults are understanding of the children’s need to keep secrets and see a case through, whilst others try to stop them. I particularly liked Sibby, who lives in a shack near the Buccaneers’ original club house and looks out for them.
This is an engaging and enjoyable read. I would recommend it to children who enjoy solving mysteries and reading adventure books such as those by Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome. For me, it’s a five-star read!
Review by Laura Furuta: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Wonderful story. Reviewed in the United States on February 18, 2021. I loved reading the book BUCCANEERS OF St. FREDERICK ISLAND by LINDA MARIA FRANK. It is a story that both young and old will enjoy reading. It is a book that includes mysteries, secrets. Intrigue, and a little danger. I enjoyed reading about the characters and the part that each one played. Will they retrieve their missing money? Read this book to find out. This is a wonderful book about friendships and loyalty. The author does a wonderful job of making the story and the characters come alive. The story kept my attention from the first chapter to the final page. The mystery will pull you in and you will get lost in the storyline. Don’t miss out on a book that is intriguing, exciting, entertaining, and mysterious, I highly recommend it.
Paperback: 186 Pages
Publisher: Annie Tillery Mysteries (November 20, 2020)
Adventure For Young Readers
Mysteries (Teens and YA
Grade Level: 5th-10th
Reading Level: 9-15 Years
Message From Linda Maria Frank: Hello, fellow mystery lovers. As a teacher of forensic science for almost 20 years, I decided to create mysteries around the science I found most interesting. I also wanted to create a smart, edgy, young female detective to solve my cases. The result was Annie Tillery. I like to call my books “Nancy Drew meets CSI”. My books capture, not only my love of mystery and science, but those things I found most exciting in life; sailing, falling in love, and my fascination with New York City.
Currently, I am living on Long Island and working hard to promote my books.
The third Annie Tillery mystery, Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys, revolves around another topic I find fascinating, and that is archaeology. It takes place in Turkey. This story is packed with heart stopping page turning drama.
The latest book, The Mystery of the Lost Avenger, investigates a cold case involving Annie’s great grandmother who was a test pilot for Grumman Aviation during WWII. Go back in time to solve an unexplained plane crash involving sabotage and great grandma, Charlotte Wheeler and her fighter pilot fiancé.
Stay tuned for more thrilling and dangerous adventures for Annie and that oh-so-sexy Ty.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE AWARDS
The Author Show Awards1, 2.4.and 7) – are writing contests. The winning entries appear in an anthology, “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading”.
The Top Female Writers Award (6) is based on an entry the author chooses to submit of their writing.
The other awards are for individual books I submitted to various contests.
The first award I received was “Rising Star” for “The Madonna Ghost”, awarded by iUniverse, the original publisher.
- 2013 The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading
- 2014 The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading
- 2015 Wishing Shelf Awards Red Ribbon Winner, “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys”
- 2016 The Authors Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading
- 2017 Finalist, Book Excellence Awards, “Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys”
- 2018 The Authors Show Top Female Author
- 2018 The Authors Show, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading
- 2019 First Place, Royal Dragonfly Book Award, “Making a Mystery with Annie Tillery”
- 2019 Independent Press Award, Distinguished Favorite, “Making a Mystery with Annie Tillery”
- 201 Big Book Award, Distinguished Favorite, “The Mystery of the Lost Avenger”.
Book Awards: Young Adults/Teen: Linda Maria Frank, New York
Professional Blog (newsletters):
Secrets In The Fairy Chimney’s Prologue by Linda Maria Frank
Secrets In The Fairy Chimney (Commercial)
The Madonna Ghost by Linda Maria Frank
Girl With Pencil, Drawing (Ch 1 Audio Book) by Linda Maria Frank
Linda Maria Frank Interview At The Children’s Author Radio Show
Author’s Page At Book Marketing Global Network: