Spider Kane and the Mystery at Jumbo Nightcrawler'sby Mary Pope Osborne, Victoria Chess (Illustrator)
Spider Kane and Leon Leafwing are back. This time someone has kidnapped all their friends and even Leon's mom! It will take all of Spider Kane's vast talents and some super sleuthing from Leon to figure this one out. Middle grade mystery fans will love investigating this book from favorite Mary Pope Osborne. A brand new cover gives this reissue a fresh new look!
Read an Excerpt
"I think I've found it! I hear music!" Rosie shouted as she led the way along the crumbling stone wall, searching for the entrance to Spider Kane's home.
Leon and Little Pickles followed her into a tiny, cavelike hollow between two stones. Then they groped their way down a dark tunnel that led to the elegant chambers of Spider Kane.
They found him playing a jazz tune on a clarinet made from a hollow river reed. The lively music moved in time with a leaping candle flame, and shadows danced on the chalky stone walls and silken floor. Beside the spider was a briarwood pipe and a golden goblet made from a touch-me-not flower. Around his shoulders was a paisley dressing gown.
When the jazzy song ended, Rosie spoke softly: "Spy?"
Spider Kane jerked around to face his three visitors. Then he burst into laughter. "Lieutenant Rose! Good heavens!"
The two hugged each other warmly. Then Rosie said, "Spy, I'd like you to meet two dear friends, Little Pickles and Leon Leafwing -- "
"Hello, Miss Pickles! What a pleasure," said Spider Kane in his deep, velvety voice.
"Gracious," said Little Pickles, trembling with excitement.
As Spider Kane turned to him, Leon quickly slipped on Mimi's dark glasses to hide his teary, swollen eyes.
"Hello, Mr. Leafwing, very pleased to meet you, too," said Spider Kane.
"Thank you. You can call me Leon."
"Fine, Leon. Now sit! All of you, sit and let me get you something to drink!" Spider Kane moved across the room with a slight limp. Then he poured a dark red liquid into three golden touch-me-not goblets. "Vintage cherry juice," he said. "How about some dinner?Parsnip pie? Peas in pastry shells?"
"No thank you, Mr. Kane," said Little Pickles. "We've already eaten."
"Ah, yes, I see that now. You dined on black bean soup."
"How did you know?" stammered Little Pickles.
"I've studied food stains for many years, Miss Pickles," he said. "The dark blotches on your blouse are definitely black bean soup."
"Oh, dear," said Little Pickles, blushing and putting her hand over the stains.
Rosie laughed. "I see you haven't lost your touch, Spy."
"No, indeed, Lieutenant Rose."
"Good," said Rosie. "Because we need your help tonight. Leon is in great distress."
"Ah." The spider fixed his eyes on the butterfly. "Would you kindly remove your glasses, sir?"
When Leon took off Mimi's dark glasses, Spider Kane stared at his red eyes. "Your girlfriend," the spider said softly.
"How did you know?"
"Your tear-stained face speaks a thousand words, Leon. As does the wilted lilac in your buttonhole. I assume you paid a call on her -- and she wasn't there?"
"That's right," said Leon sadly. "Her books were torn apart, her furniture was broken. I just found these little glasses --"
"Ah, let me see." Spider Kane took the dark glasses from Leon and studied them. "But the gossamer-winged lady was missing," he said quietly.
Leon gasped. "How -- did you know she was a gossamer-winged butterfly?"
"I have a rare gift of being able to make instant and perfect calculations of size without the use of a measuring tool," said Spider Kane. "I can tell you that these dark glasses exactly fit the head of a gossamer-winged butterfly."
"You know the head size of a gossamer-winged butterfly?"
"I know the head sizes of over two hundred different kinds of butterflies, my friend. If these belonged to a butterfly in your family, they'd be half a micrometer larger."
As Leon laughed with astonishment, Spider Kane smiled and lit his pipe.
Meet the Author
Mary Pope Osborne is the award-winning author of over forty books for young people, including the Magic Tree House series, American Tall Tales, Favorite Greek Myths, and One World, Many Religions, an Orbis Pictus Honor Book. She recently completed two terms as president of the Authors Guild, the leading writers' organization in the United States. She lives in New York City with her husband, Will, and their Norfolk Terrier, Bailey. They also have a cabin in Pennsylvania.
- Goshen, Connecticut
- Date of Birth:
- May 20, 1949
- Place of Birth:
- Fort Sill, Oklahoma
- B.A., University of North Carolina
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Jackson Herndon 10/3/05 In the book, Mystery at Jumbo Night Crawlers, by Mary Pope Osborne, the main character, Leon Leaf Wing (a butterfly), is the only one in the order of MOTH (a group of detectives who stop big crimes) that doesn¿t get an invitation to Jumbo¿s, a dinner club, from Spider Kane (the head of MOTH). Leon feels ostracized because he thinks that Spider Kane doesn¿t care for him. The reason Leon isn¿t invited is because his invitation got sent to his mom by mistake. The next evening, after everyone had their invitations, Leon¿s mom is invited to Jumbo¿s, and Leon goes with her. At Jumbo¿s, Leon¿s mom is kidnapped because someone thinks she has 75 karat gold at her house. Leon meets Spider Kane, and tells him what happened. Part 2 Leon goes around gathering the invitations that were sent to the members of the order of MOTH from their houses. Leon meets Spider Kane at his house, where he gives him the invitations, and finds his friend, Little Pickles, there too. They disguised themselves as singers for Jumbo¿s, by wearing beards and sunglasses. Then they went to sing at Jumbo¿s. Spider Kane guesses that the bad guy is Raymond Johnson, the wickedest bug on earth, because it is a well-known fact that Raymond Johnson likes 75-karat gold. Part 3 At Jumbo¿s, in his disguise, Spider Kane sings a malicious song about Raymond Johnson. Raymond Johnson, who is disguised as a bumblebee (he is really a robberfly) gets angry, and throws off his bumblebee disguise. Spider Kane catches Raymond Johnson in his web, and weasels the truth out of him. Leon finds a key that Raymond Johnson was hiding and uses the key to open a keyhole in the wall at Jumbo¿s to save his mother and the rest of the order of MOTH. They had also been captured by the wicked robberfly were elated at being freed. I recommend this book to other children because it¿s whimsical and has lots of action. All ages would like it, just as long as they like bugs.