Mystery at the Club Sandwich [NOOK Book]

Overview

Lola Gale has lost her marbles. Literally. Nick Trunk, private investigator, has been hired to find them. He’s a very good detective, but this case is a tough nut to crack. The only clues are an ostrich feather and lots of peanut butter—delicious peanut butter. Will Nick be able to solve this sticky crime? Monochromatic illustrations give this hilarious whodunit the dramatic feel of an old black-and-white movie, while endearing animals characters, plentiful P.I. and peanut puns, and a suspenseful ...
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Mystery at the Club Sandwich

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Overview

Lola Gale has lost her marbles. Literally. Nick Trunk, private investigator, has been hired to find them. He’s a very good detective, but this case is a tough nut to crack. The only clues are an ostrich feather and lots of peanut butter—delicious peanut butter. Will Nick be able to solve this sticky crime? Monochromatic illustrations give this hilarious whodunit the dramatic feel of an old black-and-white movie, while endearing animals characters, plentiful P.I. and peanut puns, and a suspenseful but-not-too-hard-to-follow mystery make this a crime story that’s hard to put down.

When Lola, famous singer at the Club Sandwich, loses her lucky marbles, elephant detective Nick Trunk, lover of peanut butter, takes the case.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this black-and-white spoof of noir cinema and All About Eve, pachyderm detective Nick Trunk investigates a foxy lounge singer who literally has lost her marbles. Nick takes the case from a kitten named Maggie Trouble who works backstage at the Club Sandwich and conceals her showbiz aspirations. "I work for peanuts," the world-weary elephant grumbles, so Maggie prepays him in brittle and they proceed to the nightclub. Nick next meets Maggie's boss, a real vixen. "Every night, before I sing, I hold my marbles," the fox tells Nick, and now her lucky charms have vanished. Nick soon finds a mysterious trace of "very expensive peanut butter." Other, less delicious clues arise, but Nick stubbornly samples peanut-butter confections; readers have to wait for him to catch up with their deductions. This amusing buildup trumps the conclusion, in which the perp's intentions remain cloudy and the punishment (jail) seems excessive (given that the marbles are hidden in almost plain sight). Cushman (the Aunt Eater mysteries) pays homage to Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon with his protagonist and a dedication to "Sam, Phil and Dashiell." Charcoal-tinged duotone watercolors, a 1939 calendar and a femme fatale set the smoky ambience, and Nick's baggy-eyed expression, rumpled trench coat and jaded hands-in-pockets slouch are those of a seasoned movie P.I. Cushman sets the generic pieces in place, but his faux-crime story wraps up less effectively than parodies such as last season's Tuff Fluff by Scott Nash. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Nick Trunk is a hardboiled private detective, and an elephant, who works literally for peanuts in this delightful, pun-filled tale. His task is to find the missing lucky marbles of Lola Gale, a singer at the Club Sandwich. At the club Nick finds clues and interviews several suspects, all of whom act very suspicious. Nick pursues the clues, then calls everyone together for the traditional detective confrontation to uncover the thief. Tasty peanut butter concoctions are spread (couldn't resist another pun) throughout the typical "just the facts " dead-pan narration, liberally laced with humor. The illustrations are produced with watercolors, colored pencils, and pastels in tones of gray which give the visual narrative a period feeling like a black and white film, in keeping with the clothing and scenery. The other anthropomorphic animals help the humor as Nick plays his casual, Colombo-style role with genuine feeling, including the rumpled trench coat and fedora. Even if some young readers miss the parody of the detective story genre, they should enjoy the comic content. 2004, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 5 to 9.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
With illustrations in a noir-ish gray and a merciless hand with the double entendres, Cushman sets elephant-in-a-trench-coat Nick Trunk, Private Eye ("I work for peanuts") on the track of diva Lola Gale's missing marbles-her lucky marbles, that is. Nosing out numerous ostrich feathers, jars of peanut butter, and other clues, the stumpy sleuth collars the culprit at last ("The case was a tough nut to crack, but sticky crimes can be solved"), then shuffles off, leaving a trail of split shells behind. Some of the jokes may go over the heads of less cinematically experienced children, but the caper's still a bagful of laughs for fans of Scott Nash's Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie's Missing Brain (p. 334), Margie Palatini's Web Files, illustrated by Richard Egielski (2001), and similar hardboiled send-ups. (Picture book. 7-9)
From the Publisher
"With illustrations in a noir-ish gray and a merciless hand with the double entendres...the caper's...a bagful of laughs." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews

"spoof of noir cinema...charcoal-tinged duotone watercolors, a 1939 calendar and a femme fatale set the smoky ambience." PW Publishers Weekly

"...droll strory...greatly enhanced by delightful illustrations...tone recalls the famous adult mystery writers of the past." SLJ School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547533704
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/18/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,138,533
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Doug Cushman is a veteran mystery writer for children and the illustrator of more than 100 picture books. Among his many popular books are the seven HOLIDAY MICE books, written by Bethany Roberts. He lives in Northern California and Paris.

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