Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Homemade Stuffing Caper: Charlie Collier, Snoop for HireJohn V. Madormo-

The Homemade Stuffing Caper: Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire

John V. Madormo

Philomel/Penguin, May 10 2012, $15.99

ISBN: 9780399255434

In Oak Grove, Illinois Roosevelt Middle School sixth-grader Charlie loves the 1930s Chicago based pulp fiction starring fictional hero Sam Solomon private investigator. The overweight Charlie and his best friend Henry compete at puzzle solving while they run a detective agency in the Collier family garage. Hiding what they do from their parents, the pair solves cases for their middle school paying clients relying on their brains and shoes as they believe the Internet makes resolution too easy.

However though the best friends conceal what they do to earn a living very well, Charlie’s free-spirited grandmother Constance and Eugene the librarian know about Solomon’s novels and that Charlie works minor investigations. Statuesque femme fatale classmate Scarlett joins the kids sleuthing team. Eugene who is more than a librarian hires them to work undercover on a missing exotic birds' inquiry.

With a nod to the movie Jr. Detective Agency, this entertaining kid sleuthing tale is a fun investigative novel. The hardboiled tweener detective emulates his hero (each chapter refers back to the Solomon novels). Fast-paced, middle school students will appreciate the escapades of “Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire” and his teammates.

Harriet Klausner

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