The Homemade Stuffing Caper: Book 1 [NOOK Book]

Overview

He's got a knack for puzzling out the most twisted mysteries…



Charlie Collier is a whiz when it comes to brain teasers and word problems. He's also the go-to guy when friends and teachers find themselves in a pickle, but lately Charlie finds himself yearning for a big score. So he puts up signs around the school and waits in his parents' garage to see what mysteries ...
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The Homemade Stuffing Caper: Book 1

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Overview

He's got a knack for puzzling out the most twisted mysteries…



Charlie Collier is a whiz when it comes to brain teasers and word problems. He's also the go-to guy when friends and teachers find themselves in a pickle, but lately Charlie finds himself yearning for a big score. So he puts up signs around the school and waits in his parents' garage to see what mysteries stumble in. And one does! Soon Charlie finds himself hot on the trail of an evildoer and realizes he'll need more than smarts to solve this case. With the help of his trusty sidekick Henry, new client Scarlett, and code-cracking grandmother Charlie puts his reasoning skills to the ultimate test. But will that be enough to unravel this dangerous caper?


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Editorial Reviews

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Charlie Collier is not your average private eye. He's slightly pudgy, wears his father's old trench coat, and for his cases, charges one dollar a day (plus expenses). But don't scoff at the chief of the Snoop for Hire Detective Agency: This analytical seventh grader gets to the heart of the matter. In this investigation, that case has a double heart: Scarlett Alexander, the cute seventh-grader who brought him the case of her grandfather's missing parrot, is detective Collier's secret crush. A very clever, absorbing new young reader whodunit series.

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Charlie Collier, 12, has a gift as an analytical thinker and a love for old school noir detective comics. One day his eccentric grandmother confides in him that she is really a former spy working with her friend, fellow noir detective comic aficionado, Eugene, an official private investigator. He recognizes Charlie's talents and takes him on as a junior partner. When a beautiful classmate comes to inquire about how to find her grandfather's missing bird, Eugene is dismissive, but Charlie takes it on as his first case. As the plot unravels, he realizes that a bird-poaching black-market scandal is about to put his and his friends' lives in danger. Despite the noir motif, this is an innocent book that mystery readers will like. The character development is good, but there are sweeping inconsistencies in the protagonist's mental prowess. The plot is adequately paced, but the realistic feel of the noir novel is at odds with major events such as Charlie's favorite library volunteer also being a former CIA agent with an office modeled after their favorite comic character. This is a good choice for young readers who may be reading above their grade level, but Chris Rylander's The Fourth Stall (HarperCollins, 2011) and Eoin Colfer's Half Moon Investigations (Hyperion, 2006) are better choices for those looking for age-appropriate novels that contain the grit that makes a noir novel truly good.—Devin Burritt, Wells Public Library, ME
Publishers Weekly
Screenwriter and debut author Madormo’s mystery, first in the Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire series, has a satisfyingly old-fashioned ambience, despite its contemporary setting. Sixth-graders Charlie Collier, an overweight aspiring sleuth, and his best friend Henry—perpetual competitors when it comes to word puzzles and brain teasers—run a detective agency in the Collier family garage (unbeknownst to Charlie’s parents). Inspired by literary hero Sam Solomon, star of countless detective stories, Charlie relies only on his (and Henry’s) powers of reasoning to solve the mysteries that come their way, refusing to consult the Internet or GPS. When the boys—joined by an attractive female classmate—take on a job that reveals itself as a full-fledged crime, an elderly library volunteer and Charlie’s crazy grandmother turn out to be surprisingly helpful and to have some exciting secrets of their own. Astute readers will pick up the hints and clues that Madormo sprinkles throughout, and everybody will be pulling for good-natured Charlie as he strives to outwit a criminal and save himself and his friends. Ages 9–up. Agent: Chelsea Lindman, the Nicholas Ellison Agency. (June)
BookPage

The Homemade Stuffing Caper is an exciting mystery, full of jokes and puns, as well as brainteasers and lots of detective work. This may be the first mystery you don’t want the detective to solve, because you won’t want it to end!”
Family Fun Magazine

“Brisk and absorbing, author John Madormo’s debut tips its fedora to hard-boiled classics with its 'sixth-grader meets Sam Spade' narration.”
Booklist

“With mysteries to solve, codes to decrypt, and an extended cast of colorful characters in tow, this first in a new series offers lots for mystery fans to chew on and will leave them hungry for the next installment.”
Book Case

A Book Case Top Ten Summer Reading Selection for 2012
Kirkus Reviews
Hard-boiled boy detective Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire, takes on his first big case. Inspired by fictional hero Sam Solomon, star of 1930s-era-Chicago detective novels, Charlie has a knack for solving brainteasers and run-of-the-mill middle-school crimes and misdemeanors. Lucky for him, his sidekick Henry has an eye for business and makes sure to parlay Charlie's skills into a few extra dollars. Turns out that Charlie is not the only one obsessed with Sam Solomon. His eccentric grandmother and riddle-loving librarian Eugene also know Sam's modus operandi. Up until now, Charlie has handled small cases, but he longs for his first big case. His assignment comes from an unlikely place--turns out Eugene is more than a librarian, and he needs help with a local case of missing exotic birds. While the story is overlong for the intended audience, the snappy first-person noir language keeps the plot moving. The midstream addition of intuitive Scarlett and misunderstood Sherman adds depth to the story and gives hints of capers to come. Each chapter title is borrowed from a Sam Solomon novel, keeping the link between Charlie and his fictional hero alive. What would Sam Solomon and Charlie Collier do after cracking this case? Solve another one, readers hope. (Fiction. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101572269
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/10/2012
  • Series: Charlie Collier,Snoop for Hire
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,325,286
  • Age range: 9 years
  • File size: 722 KB

Meet the Author

John Madormo is an author, a screenwriter and a college professor. He lives near Chicago, Illinois.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    A MUST READ!

    Charlie Collier is a good detective. This is a book that others should read if they like mysteries and sloving codes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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