The Case of the Rigged Race by Michael Hutchinson (ARC Review)

The Rigged Rce


GoodreadsThe Case of the Rigged Race
Series: Mighty Muskrats Mysteries #4
Age Category: Middle Grade
Source: ARC from Publisher
Published: September 2022

Official Summary

The Mighty Muskrats are back with a chilly new mystery!

Windy Lake First Nation is hosting the annual Trappers Festival, and the four Mighty Muskrats are excited about the sled-dog races and the chance to visit with family and friends from far and wide. But during the Teen Sled Race, the lead dog is the victim of a frightening accident that may be more than it seems.

Between mysterious strangers seen lurking by the trail and a loud group of animal rights protestors, the Muskrats have a lot of suspects. Despite the chill of winter, the case is heating up for Sam, Otter, Atim, and Chickadee!


The Mighty Muskrats return in their fourth mystery! This time, Windy Lake First Nation is hosting the annual Trappers Festival, but it looks like someone might be trying to rig the dogsled race.  The Mighty Muskrats have various suspects–a group of animal rights activists trying to interrupt the events and a couple of gamblers who might have big money on the race. The four solve the mystery methodically, searching for clues, examining the evidence, sending off lab samples, and talking to suspects.  A winning mystery for children who enjoy detective series.

Mystery series for children have a long history and there are, of course, numerous examples of titles that have done very well and continue to have sustained popularity.  So it’s exciting to see a newer series with more diverse representation. Author Michael Hutchinson is a citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation, and a love and respect for the way of life embraced by the Windy Lake First Nation imbues every page.  Protagonists Sam, Otter, Atim, and Chickadee all bring their own understanding of their culture and traditions to the story, sharing them with the other characters, but also with readers.  The ending message is that we should all seek for understanding–a lesson the Mighty Muskrats demonstrate for readers, showing how open discourse can lead to positive resolutions.  I think readers will really connect with the Muskrats, their desire to bridge the gaps between people, and, of course, their curiosity and bravery!

Fans of children’s mystery series will not want to miss out on this contemporary one.  The mysteries are age appropriate, and the protagonists take realistic steps to solve them–modeling for readers the scientific process, the rules of deduction, and more.  But the stories never feel overly educational.  They’re fun!  And the plot is full of just the right amount of action to keep readers engaged.  I hope for another installment soon!   

3 Stars

4 thoughts on “The Case of the Rigged Race by Michael Hutchinson (ARC Review)

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, the three stars are more of an indication that I’m an adult reader, so the mystery wasn’t that mysterious for more, and hence not very gripping. But I think younger readers newer to mysteries would enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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