Bill Doyle. Swindled! The Journal of Fitz Morgan (2006) 139 pp. Illustrated by Brian Dow. (Crime Through Time, 1906)
All fourteen-year-old Fitz Morgan wants to be is a detective like his father. In April 1906, Fitz is finally old enough to travel alone by train from New York to San Francisco to visit family. The train is equipped with a couple of very special Pullman cars: one is a federal government car, the other belongs to the celebrated Pinkerton Detective Agency and is a rolling crime lab. Fitz meets nine-year-old Justine Pinkerton, also traveling alone across country. They soon are embroiled in a mystery involving cyanide poisoning, counterfeiting, and the 1898 sinking of the USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor. As they get deeper into their investigations, they discover that many things are not what they seem and that it will involve all of their combined deductive skills to sort everything out. They are finally breaking the case as they pull into the San Francisco station at 5:00AM on April 18th, only to have “The Big One” throw everything into turmoil. Juvenile.