This book looks like we’re headed back to the United States, Peoria, IL in fact, until Amy gets a brainwave. Our indefatigable trio go into a library and look up choral music. They find they are headed not to Peoria, but to Pretoria, South Africa. (See, you were wondering about how vipers played into this, weren’t you? Yeah, me too. I thought the clue would be in a zoo or something…) Having ditched the Kabra’s by getting decoy tickets to Peoria, they land in Johannesburg and are greeted by a local man who gives Dan a coded postcard with the photo of a local Zulu hero, Shaka, who holds a Tomas shield. Dan surprises everyone by going into a bookstore for a biography.
As with all the other 39 Clues books, in short order Amy, Dan and Nellie are hot on the trail of Winston Churchill and a secret Tomas clue. We also find out quite a bit about Grace, Amy and Dan’s deceased grandmother, and some unexpected things about their parents. We learn so much about the Country of South Africa here that it is mind blowing, and much of it, a culture shock to many Americans. I looked up and double checked many facts as stated in the book simply because I could not believe it was really true. I won’t give them away, just let you read them for yourself… An excellent addition to the series.
****/ 5 stars.