Thursday, September 14, 2017

Diana Winthrop #5 Legacy of Lucian Van Zandt and #6 Threat of the Pirate Ship

In Diana Winthrop #5, The Legacy of Lucian Van Zandt, Megan has a splendid idea for Founder's Day at Van Zandt High School.  She wants Diana to research Lucian Van Zandt and the mystery of his heirs, then Leslie will write a play based on Lucian's life.

Diana and Leslie demur at first, but then they get into the spirit of the project.  Both girls will receive credit in their English course for their efforts. Meanwhile, protesters appear in front of the school.  Word has gotten out that the school might be sold, and the residents who live in the buildings owned by the school will lose their rent-controlled apartments.  The principal and the board of trustees have received threats.  Something sinister is afoot, and Diana's research becomes the key to solving the mystery.

On page 36, Diana snaps pictures of a live television broadcast to get pictures of the protesters.  It's amazing that Diana has time to get her camera passed to her and somehow manages to shoot the pictures before the story is over.

Nothing is mentioned about a VCR, which would have made the situation easier on Diana, because she could have snapped pictures later of the recording.  This is in 1984, and my family already had a VCR.  Perhaps they weren't yet common, but the Winthrop family is extremely wealthy.  They would have had a VCR, even if many people did not yet have them.

This is an excellent book and is my favorite title in the series.

In Diana Winthrop #6, The Threat of the Pirate Ship, Gran Culhaine is in Tampa, Florida, and has broken her leg.  Gran sends an urgent message to Diana, requesting her presence in Florida.  When Diana arrives, Gran can hardly speak, but she manages to convey that Diana must take possession of her belongings and inspect them. Gran also tells Diana that the accident occurred during the night at CHS, the company for which Gran is on the board of directors.  Even more important, somebody pushed Gran, causing the accident.  Diana also learns from others that someone is threatening the Gasparilla Day events. Diana shrewdly concludes that the threats and Gran's accident are connected.

This book has a few too many characters, but I was mostly able to keep them straight. Fortunately, they were not introduced all at once, which helped.

This is a very good book.

Overall the Diana Winthrop series is a very strong mystery series.  The plots are fairly complex, so the stories are for older children or young adults.  These books are more sophisticated than the average series book aimed at children.

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