Book Review: “Into the Lion’s Den” by Linda Fairstein

By Kaileigh Deacon


Watch out Nancy Drew there’s a new teen sleuth on the case. I grew up reading Nancy Drew books and following the adventures of Nancy and her friends solve all the mysteries they stumbled into. As an adult I continued my love of mysteries and Linda Fairstein has been one of my favorite authors. Fairstein has ventured outside her normal forensic thrillers staring Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Alex Cooper, to bring us a new sleuth on the street of the Big Apple twelve year old Devlin Quick. 

For the most part Devlin Quick is just your average, every day preteen going to school, being a part of the school swim team, and trying to figure out growing up, which is not always easy. But unlike most preteens, Devlin’s mother is the Police Commissioner of New York City and the desire to be a detective seems to be genetic. When Devlin’s friend Liza tells her she saw a strange man tear a page out of a rare book in the New York Public Library, Devlin is caught up in a mystery. The questions about who this man is, why he stole a page from a book, and what that could mean push Devlin and Liza, along with their friend Booker, into investigating. What will Devlin and her friends Liza and Booker find out about the thief and how does all this sleuthing fit in with their school work?

Linda Fairstein is a former Assistant District Attorney for the Sex Crimes Unit in Manhattan and has written 18 books featuring Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cooper. Fairstein’s Alexandra Cooper books mix New York history with the harsh reality of Alexandra Cooper’s work in the Sex Crimes unit and often times murder. They are a thrilling, fascinating, fast paced read that always leaves you wanting more and the first book in the Devlin Quick Series is no different. 

This book is a wonderful modern day version of Nancy Drew appropriate for all ages. Fairstein’s knowledge of not only New York but the world of criminal investigation finds its way into a book that is suitable for the youngest aspiring detective. Devlin Quick is a funny relatable character and comes right off the pages as does the rest of the colorful cast. The story is fun and interesting without being too heavy for younger readers. 

One of the things I loved most about this book was how Fairstein worked her knowledge of forensics into a story that was understandable and enjoyable for kids. This is a great read for kids that have an interest in detective work or the forensic sciences without being gory or too mature. 

I would give this book a five out of five star rating. I was completely drawn in the entire time I was reading “Into the Lion’s Den” and look forward to seeing what happens next for Devlin Quick and her friends. You can pick up this book through inter-library loan at the Calais Free Library or at your favorite bookseller.