The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files (Saxby Smart, Private Detective Series)

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Overview

Solve It With Saxby, a new series aimed at unraveling the mystery of getting boys excited about reading.

Saxby Smart is no ordinary ten-year-old. He's the best detective in the world, or at least the best one who also happens to be in elementary school. In this brand new series—with three cases in each book—the reader solves the mystery alongside Saxby, getting peeks at pages of his casebook as the crimes unfold, and searching for clues rather ...

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The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files: Saxby Smart, Private Detective: Book 1

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Overview

Solve It With Saxby, a new series aimed at unraveling the mystery of getting boys excited about reading.

Saxby Smart is no ordinary ten-year-old. He's the best detective in the world, or at least the best one who also happens to be in elementary school. In this brand new series—with three cases in each book—the reader solves the mystery alongside Saxby, getting peeks at pages of his casebook as the crimes unfold, and searching for clues rather than letting the main character do all the work and have all the fun.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This fast-paced U.S. debut for British author Cheshire launches the Saxby Smart, Private Detective series starring a chipper crackerjack sleuth. The protagonist immediately pulls readers into the action, as Saxby explains, "Unlike some detectives, I don't have a sidekick, so that part I'm leaving up to you-pay attention, I'll ask questions." He involves readers each step of the way, asking about their deductive progress ("Have you figured it out?"), before disclosing his own hunches and findings. Of the three mysteries presented in this volume, the first-involving the connection between a Japanese samurai mask and the bad luck plaguing a friend's father-is the most creatively convoluted. Saxby's resourceful tactics and comedic overstatements will keep kids entertained; his classmates (who play key supporting roles), excerpts from Saxby's notebook and Alley's (Paddington and the Christmas Surprise) cheery b&w line art further enliven these mysteries. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
This initial volume in the "Saxby Smart: Private Detective" series was first published in Great Britain in 2007 and is now reissued for young American readers with delightful illustrations by the prodigiously talented R.W. Alley. Saxby Smart is a private detective—and a student at St. Egbert's School, with an office in his parents' tool shed; he mentions his parents early on "to let you know that I've got some" and then promises not to discuss them any further. Here, Saxby solves three cases. Each one would be enough in itself for a satisfying chapter book, so it is a bonus to have this three-in-one collection. Jasmine's dad is about to lose his job because his high-tech inventions keep being leaked to their corporate rival: Is he under a curse cast by the mask he purchased in Japan? Class brain Jeremy has his sure-to-be-prize-winning essay ruined by mysterious purple goo on the eve of the Essay Contest: Is low-down rat Harry Lovecroft behind the crime or Jeremy himself? Nasty Mrs. Eileen Pither accuses her niece, Heather, of stealing her antique clasp: How could the clasp have simply disappeared into thin air? Throughout the stories, Saxby pauses frequently to pose questions to the reader, to allow us to join him in his sleuthing, and Cheshire provides just enough clues so that the reader can participate as co-detective in this thoroughly engaging and kid-like collection of cases. Saxby Smart lives up to his name, and Cheshire and Alley make an equally smart team. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5

Ten-year-old Saxby Smart shares his father's love of detective stories, but unlike his father, who is a local bus driver, his love goes beyond reading. With his Crime Headquarters and Thinking Chair in the shed in his backyard, Saxby is ready and willing to take on any mystery that comes his way. When Jasmine Winchester asks for help in proving that the mask her father bought in Japan is not cursed, he finally gets to put his deductive skills to the test. The title contains the accounts of three separate cases, interspersed with black-and-white drawings and excerpts from Saxby's handwritten notebook. Like Donald Sobol's "Encyclopedia Brown" series (Bantam), the books give children the opportunity to solve the mystery or crime along with Saxby. He asks questions of readers, focusing on important clues or deductions and giving them a chance to follow his thought processes before continuing with the story. Young mystery fans will enjoy tagging along with him.-Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

Kirkus Reviews
Saxby Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan Smart wants to be a detective as good as the greats. Even though he's only ten years old, he is observant and adept at using deductive reasoning. In the first of three "case files," the tale of the Ancient Mask, Saxby, with the help of his friend Izzy, discovers that the mask's real curse is a case of competitive sabotage. The second case file is a thinly disguised examination of human motivations and the effect of scare tactics as Saxby uncovers the secret behind the appearance of purple goo on his classmates' projects. In the third mystery, Saxby sets out to find the thief of a valuable coat clasp. His progress is slowed by false suspects, but Saxby learns that it's all really a case of bad attitude. The stories are liberally illustrated with Alley's homey sketches plus representations of Saxby's notebooks. While each short mystery is involving, the distinguishing aspect of this series opener is Saxby's enthusiastic invitations to readers to participate in the sleuthing. A solid successor to Encyclopedia Brown. (Mystery. 7-12)
From the Publisher
“The books give children the opportunity to solve the mystery or crime along with Saxby. He asks questions of readers, focusing on important clues or deductions and giving them a chance to follow his thought processes before continuing with the story. Young mystery fans will enjoy tagging along with him.” — School Library Journal

“The reader-as-sidekick device works splendidly: Saxby’s scrawlings offer a window into his problem solving and invite the reader to do the same, and all three cases have some nice twists and less-than-obvious outcomes, requiring an element of deductive reasoning.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Saxby’s resourceful tactics and comedic overstatements will keep kids entertained; his classmates, excerpts from Saxby’s notebook and Alley’s cheery b&w line art further enliven these mysteries.” Publishers Weekly

“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.” Booklist

“While each short mystery is involving, the distinguishing aspect of this series opener is Saxby’s enthusiastic invitations to readers to participate in sleuthing.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312659394
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 4/12/2011
  • Series: Saxby Smart, Private Detective Series
  • Edition description: STRIPPABLE
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 631,611
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 5.24 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

SIMON CHESHIRE lives in Warwick, England.

R.W. ALLEY is best known for "Paddington Bear" but has published more than 70 books with his wife Zoe. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2012

    Scrub

    Patata wheres your scrub

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    it ****** SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    >:(
    4 ASS HOLES

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