Spies for Dinner


179 pages
ISBN 0-00-222840-8





Reviewed by Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers was a librarian with the Laurenval School Board (Adult Services), Deux Montagnes, Quebec.


There are too many characters in this book. In addition to the spies (one American, one Frenchwoman, one Russian, one German count, one Chinese, one Englishman, and two Japanese), there are also the good guys (two boys, two girls, two sisters, one professor and his assistant, and one French Canadian girl whose status is doubtful). There are also various other minor characters.

J. Robert Janes has written several other mysteries starring the same major characters, the two boys and the two girls. The reader is reminded of this fact by asterisks scattered through the text.

The plot is also complicated, involving mirrors, lasers, satellites, and computer chips. Thank goodness for the map at the start of the novel, which explains the Georgian Bay setting. Islands and cottages are marked, as are the paths of the laser voice-communicator beams.

Although the reader sometimes gets lost in the maze of characters, laser equipment, and old love stories, the plot is suspenseful, the main characters are quite believable, and the story is humorously told. Everything does fall into place at the end. A step above Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, this mystery story appeals to boys and girls from grade five up.


Janes, J. Robert, “Spies for Dinner,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/36171.