Dead Guys Talk: A Wild Willie Mystery

Dead Guys Talk: A Wild Willie Mystery

5.0 1
by Barbara Joosse, Abby Carter

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After receiving an unsigned note with an urgent plea for help and a map to the cemetery, best friends and detectives Willie, Kyle, and Lucy discover that someone is planning on relocating the cemetery's bodies and building a new mall on the property. The nature of this case makes the Scarface detectives more than a little nervous, so they hire Chuckie, the


After receiving an unsigned note with an urgent plea for help and a map to the cemetery, best friends and detectives Willie, Kyle, and Lucy discover that someone is planning on relocating the cemetery's bodies and building a new mall on the property. The nature of this case makes the Scarface detectives more than a little nervous, so they hire Chuckie, the neighborhood bully, as a bodyguard, and set about finding out just who is planning on moving the dead guys as well as figuring out a way to stop them. But more puzzling than the case itself is the mystery of who their client is. Could it be Loony Lorraine, the deceased detective whose old office is the detectives' headquarters? Can dead guys talk? Once again, Barbara Joosse has created a hilarious, spooky, kid-friendly story perfect for all 7-to-10-year-olds, particularly reluctant readers.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Willie and his friends, Kyle and Lucy, consider themselves to be good detectives. They decide that they will take cases and make money doing so. Unfortunately, their first case is a bit more than they bargain for when they realize that their client may well be Miss Loraine Lamonde, the recently deceased owner of Kyle's new home. It seems that Miss Loraine and her relatives are not too happy about their cemetery being sold so that a strip mall can move into its spot. As the kids work to unravel the mystery, they meet Loraine's slimy nephew, as well as Mr. Big Voice, who takes care of the cemetery. They also get some unwanted help from Chuckie, who is selling his bodyguard services to the group for a nice profit. This is a much used plot—I have read two other stories with a similar plot already this year—but it will suffice for younger readers who need recognizable plots as they work through new words in the text. 2006, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, Ages 5 to 9.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Willie and his sidekicks, Lucy and Kyle, solve another mystery in this fifth entry in the series. Developers are planning to tear down Oak Hill Cemetery, and anonymous notes indicate that its inhabitants would prefer not to move. Concerned that their client is a ghost or a corpse, Willie and friends hire their arch-enemy and neighborhood bully, Chuckie, for "24-hour protection" just in case. Mild slapstick humor and a talking parrot help bring the case to a satisfactory conclusion. Numerous black-and-white illustrations, some full page, accompany the text. Joosse stays in safe, comfortable territory with daylight cemetery visits and plenty of humor infused to keep situations light, while Chuckie's entrepreneurial spirit (he charges for information as well as protection) adds a subplot to this detective tale. This isn't an essential purchase, but it's a decent choice for readers looking for easy chapter books.-Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Like previous Wild Willie mysteries, this [book] will grab new readers as well as those familiar with the series." Booklist, ALA

"This chapter book is just spooky enough for elementary school readers." Horn Book Guide

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
File size:
8 MB
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 Reeks Like Foot Juice

It was the dead middle of summer. At the beginning of summer, there are a million things to do. Building forts, fooling around, solving crimes. At the end, you have to moosh in all the stuff you forgot. But in the middle?
You know what I mean.
Plus, it was hot outside. Really hot. The kind of melty hot where your leg skin sticks together. The kind of hot where your nose breath is the only air that’s moving. The kind of hot where you don’t like where you are . . . but don’t want to go where you’re not.
One of the reasons my detective partners call me Wild Willie is that I have great ideas. But today? Well, maybe my ideas had boiled in my brain. Because I couldn’t think of a single good thing to do.
My best friend, Lucy, and I were drinking soda in my room. We had shoved some of my stuff under the bed so we could sit on the floor. Which is where we were now. Which is where we had been for an hour.
“Willie,” said Lucy. “Your room really stinks.” “I know,” I said. “There isn’t that much to do in here. And this is a really old house. So we don’t have air conditioning.” “No,” Lucy said. “I don’t mean it’s a crummy room. I mean it reeks, like foot juice.” “Really?” I said.
“Yuk,” said Lucy, holding her nose. “Don’t you smell it?” “I guess not,” I said. “Probably I’m used to it.” “Where’s the smell coming from?” Lucy sniffed the air and followed the stink trail. Her nose got to the garbage. “Here,” she said.
I stuck my nose in there. “Eeew.” “What’s in there, anyway?” Lucy asked.
“Well, some tissues with slimy stuff on them. Some sandwiches that are maybe a little moldy. And a banana I found under my bed. I had to scrape it up with my sock. My sock’s there, too.” “Aha! Under your bed!” said Lucy.
She shot over to the bed, lifted the bedspread, and looked underneath. Stink blasted out. “WILLIE! THIS IS DISGUSTING! It’s even grosser than your garbage. What’s under there?” “I don’t exactly know,” I said. “But old soccer socks, for sure. And some food. Sometimes when Mom makes liver or fish or vegetarian, I hide it under my bed.” “Oooh,” groaned Lucy. “Willie, how often do you clean under there?” “Clean?” I asked.
“STOP!” said Lucy, holding up her hands. Her face looked green, like mold.
“You don’t look so good, Lucy.” I opened the window. But it was hot outside, so even the outside smelled rotten. “Maybe we should go someplace that doesn’t smell so bad. How about headquarters?” “Headquarters is in Kyle’s attic,” Lucy said. “It’s a trillion degrees up there.” “Your house?” I asked.
“Forget it. Mom’s having a meeting. The women are wearing perfume.” So it seemed like we’d be stuck in my room forever. Boiling, stinky hot. With nothing to do. But sometimes, when you least expect it, opportunity knocks.
Knock knock knock.
“WILLIE!” My other best friend, Kyle, rushed into my room. He was waving something. “Look at this! Somebody sent me something.”

Lucy grabbed the envelope out of Kyle’s hand. “You mean, somebody sent the agency something. The envelope says Scarface Detectives. Not King Kyle.” “So open it!” I said. Lucy ripped open the envelope. Inside was a note. It said: HELP!
And that was all.
“Who’s it from?” Kyle asked.
“There’s no signature,” said Lucy. She looked again at the envelope. “And no return address.” “Hey!” Kyle said. “There’s something on the other side of the note.” Lucy flipped the paper over. There was a map on the other side.
It was the dead middle of summer. But an adventure was just beginning.
Did I mention it was dead middle?

Copyright © 2006 by Barbara M. Joosse. Reprinted by permission of Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Company.

Meet the Author

 BARBARA JOOSSE is the best-selling author of more than thirty books for children. She lives in a little stone house in Wisconsin. Visit her website at

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Dead Guys Talk: A Wild Willie Mystery 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever!