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Children's LiteratureNumber ten in the "Chet Gecko Mystery" series, Bruce Hale keeps up the nonstop puns and takeoff of the hard-boiled detectives of book and movie fame. It is hard to believe that Chet Gecko is a fourth grader; he really talks and acts much older. At least he admits that he is the brawn while his partner, a mocking bird named Natalie Attired, is the real brains. This time Chet has to try to prove that Natalie is not a blackmailer and get her reinstated in school. There are plenty of missed cues, red herrings and mayhem to keep readers turning the pages. The story takes an odd twist, but that is what makes it interesting—you never know what will happen next. Even though the story is short, it is targeted to middle readers because there are plenty of puns, which caused this reviewer to groan now and then. It is all in good fun, and the text is sprinkled with black and white drawings by Bruce Hale that pick up on the images of those movie detectives like Humphrey Bogart. The back of the book contains a brief synopsis of the other cases that feature Chet and Natalie. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 8 to 12.