There are more thrills and tense moments than ever in Peril at Pinecone Rock, the latest Maple Harbour Adventure, by Gibsons author M.A. (Michael) Wilson.
It’s the fourth book in the series based in the fictional B.C. coastal town of Maple Harbour, which happens to look a lot like Gibsons, and whose young protagonists – Claire, Ryan, Kendra, Nathan, and Meg the dog – cannot seem to avoid danger.
“These kids, they find trouble wherever it is,” Wilson acknowledged with a laugh in conversation with Coast Reporter.
The trouble is often of the kids’ own making as they’re out sailing, hiking, and exploring, but just as often they’re contending with some unsavoury adults. In Peril at Pinecone Rock, the adversarial grownups are in cahoots with an unprincipled developer who plans to build a massive condo project in the heart of picturesque Maple Harbour, threatening businesses, spoiling views, and jeopardizing local landmarks.
Although clearly exaggerated for dramatic effect, that part of the plot does reflect the real-life political and cultural skirmishes over the still unbuilt George Hotel and condo development in Gibsons.
“It’s a book for kids aged eight to 10. I don’t want it to be controversial,” Wilson said with another laugh. “But yeah, as I’ve always done, I like to throw in odd bits of stories I hear and people I know. So, I thought I’d just weave that into the storyline.”
The big, brown loveable mutt that is Meg is also once again central to many of the predicaments the kids get into. “You know, kids love Meg,” said Wilson, who modeled the dog on his family’s late pet. “When I talk to school groups, I’ll get more questions about Meg than anyone else.”
No surprise then that Meg is included in three of the book’s five full-page illustrations by artist Lizette Duvenage.
Peril at Pinecone Rock is available at Talewind Books in Sechelt and on Amazon.