This puzzle book, the first in a series of three, features 40 mini-mysteries for the reader to solve using deductive reasoning and visual clues. Daisy Pepper and Ridley Long are private detectives who keep busy all day and night catching crooks and saving the day. Some puzzles are very obvious and easy to solve, while others take quite a bit of intuitive and deductive reasoning. Even though some of the stories are corny, intermediate elementary students and middle school students who are fans of word puzzles will love solving these mysteries. The puzzles in this book would be useful to the teacher who is looking for some quick, entertaining puzzles to get the students thinking, perhaps during drill or warm-up time. The author did an excellent job translating the text from German to English. Illustrations are hand drawn in black and white and orange. Answers to all the puzzles are found at the back of the book. 2003 (orig. 1999), The Millbrook Press, Ages 8 to 12.
Nancy T. Braverman
Gr 3-6-Each spread features a different crime, and a page of text faces an illustration that gives visual clues. These black-line drawings with a touch of orange are reminiscent of the art in Highlights magazines. Reluctant readers will be drawn to the simplicity of the text; budding detectives will appreciate the challenge of solving the crimes. The cases are generally adult-oriented, involving bank robbers or disloyal business partners. The clues are usually evident after careful searching: readers spot a suitcase matching the criminal's, the thief's clothes are dirty, etc. The answers appear at the end of the book. Additional fare that's a combination of Martin Handford's "Where's Waldo" (Candlewick) and Donald Sobol's "Encyclopedia Brown" (Bantam).-Debbie Whitbeck, West Ottawa Public Schools, Holland, MI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.