Friday, September 4, 2020

Review of "The Diamond Cave Mystery," by Troy Nesbitt

 Review of

The Diamond Cave Mystery, by Troy Nesbitt

Four out of five stars

Lost mine premise, this time it is diamonds

 There are many legends of lost mines in the western states of the United States, some of which are no doubt true. The fact that there have been many gold and silver mines in those states adds credence to the stories. The plot of this book uses the premise of a lost mine, only in this case it contains diamonds, something that is less likely in the geological sense.

 The Bennett family lives in New Mexico close to Carlsbad, home to the famous massive underground caverns. Chuck is a teenage boy and his father owns a store, Hal is his best friend and his father works on an oil rig that is drilling nearby.  

 Lefty is a local newspaper reporter and he recalls an old story about a man named Abijah Jones that claimed to have found a diamond mine and extracted a significant number of diamonds. Jones arrived at the home of Chuck’s father and requested lodging as he was not feeling well and he talked about hiding the diamonds in a cave. Jones was an engraver and he was carrying a bible, shortly after he arrived, he died. Chuck’s grandfather tried to track down Jones’ relatives but never had any luck.

Chuck and Hal start their search by going through the bible looking for clues. There are many underlined passages and a coin with fine engraving on it. Their efforts are strenuous and become dangerous as the word gets out that it is likely there are missing diamonds to be found.

 The story moves along fairly well and stays within the bounds of what teenage boys would be capable of. Chuck and Hal can drive, but when they see no path forward, they do what boys that age are likely to do, they went swimming. There is a plausible and sensible conclusion, generally better than stories featuring other adolescent boys that has them doing things that are not as plausible or believable.

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