Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Curse of the Ancient Mask: and Other Case Files

Booklist (May 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 17))
Grades 3-5. Saxby Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan Smart, whose father loves crime novels, has cut his literary teeth on great detective stories and developed a schoolyard reputation as a sleuth. In the first case related here, a classmate arrives at the door of Saxby’s Crime Headquarters (backyard shed) and announces that her father is cursed by an ancient mask, accused of industrial espionage, and faced with losing his job. In the second, three students find their homework assignments sabotaged. In the third and final case, a girl is accused of stealing jewelry. Confident, though occasionally baffled, the young detective organizes the evidence methodically and, in each case, solves the mystery. Even better, careful readers can do the same. Expressive ink drawings help bring the occasionally quirky characters to life. After reading this well-paced and sometimes funny first-person narrative, young mystery fans will be looking for the second volume in the Saxby Smart Private Detective series.

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