My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Secret at Haney Field by R. M. Clark is a fun mystery story for eight to twelve year olds (or older!) The story focuses on twelve-year-old, baseball-mad April O’Day who wins a contest to be the bat retriever for her local minor-league baseball team – the Harpoons – for one exciting week during the summer holidays. Due to April’s wealth of baseball knowledge and her keen eye, her tips and advice improve the players’ performances and she is asked to stay on all summer. One evening, after the match, April thinks she sees ghostly figures moving over the darkened baseball field, but surely she’s imagined it? When Mr Haney, owner of the Harpoons, confides that he too sees the figures, April – and best friend Darren Plummer – starts an investigation that reaches back 70 years to reveal a surprising and poignant explanation.
The Secret at Haney Field is a pleasure to read. April is a likeable and engaging heroine and Darren is good comic relief. The writing is clear and fluid, the dialogue smooth and realistic, and the baseball know-how is very interesting! As an uninitiated, UK-based reader, I found the glossary at the start of the book and the description and history of the sport throughout the story to be fascinating and educational. The mystery at the heart of the book is nicely written and the two young sleuths’ journey to the solution is both exciting and moving. R. M. Clark has created an entertaining but also meaningful book which leaves you with a smile on your face. I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to all mystery fans. Reviewed by Julia for Readers’ Favorite.