Seventh-Grade Detective Finds His Next Mystery aboard a Train

Article excerpt

Byline: June Weltman

BRIXTON BROTHERS #3: IT HAPPENED ON A TRAIN

Author: Mac Barnett

Illustrator: Adam Rex

Data: Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, hardcover $15.99; ages 8-12 (Paperback: $5.99)

Fans of seventh-grade detective Steve Brixton, formerly of the Brixton Brothers Detective Agency, can sigh with relief. Steve's back in business.

Steve closed the agency after he learned his hero, MacArthur Bart, author of the Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook and a mystery series about their exploits, was a criminal mastermind. Steve relied on the books, a spoof of classic boy detective stories, for tips about solving crimes, recognizing goons and getting out of tight corners.

In this his third adventure, Steve, who lives in California, is on a train heading south to San Diego to participate in a Model United Nations competition. He's traveling with his best chum, Dana. He's annoyed with Dana, who now has a girlfriend, also named Dana. Rick, his mom's cop boyfriend, who Steve barely tolerates, came along as a chaperone. …