The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse (Chet Gecko Series)by Bruce Hale
Chet Gecko loves a good mystery. Almost more than he loves his fee--stinkbug pie. So when fellow fourth grader Shirley Chameleon asks him to find her missing brother, Billy, Chet expects the case to be as easy as pie. But Billy's disappearance is part of a larger plot, one that involves the Rat Sisters, a riddling junkyard dog, and a vicious Gila monster named
Chet Gecko loves a good mystery. Almost more than he loves his fee--stinkbug pie. So when fellow fourth grader Shirley Chameleon asks him to find her missing brother, Billy, Chet expects the case to be as easy as pie. But Billy's disappearance is part of a larger plot, one that involves the Rat Sisters, a riddling junkyard dog, and a vicious Gila monster named Herman. If Chet doesn't solve the case fast, the entire school could be humiliated. Worst of all, Chet might not get his fee. And Chet's hungry. . . . •The first book in a zany new series that combines mystery with humor •A hip, character-based story and amusing illustrations in a fun format for middle grade readers
THE MYSTERY OF MR. NICE
"Green-scaled gumshoe Chet Gecko hits his stride in this hard-boiled follow-up to The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse . . . Hale throws in wisecracks by the handful, terrible jokes . . . , and daffy clues. . . . Hold on to your fedoras: this gecko's going places."-Kirkus Reviews
Read an Excerpt
The Case of the Long-Gone Lizard
Some cases start rough, some cases start easy. This one started with a dame. (That’s what we private eyes call a girl.)
It was a hot day in September. The kind of day when kindergartners wake up cranky from their naps. The kind of day when teachers pull their hair and dream of moving to Antarctica.
In other words, a normal school day.
I was watching a fly. He zigged and zagged over my desk. He flew barrel rolls and loop-de-loops. Near as I could tell, he was getting ready to sing "The Star Spangled Banner."
So I shot out my tongue and zapped him. Bull’s-eye. Midmorning snack.
"Nice shot, private eye."
I looked up. She was cute and green and scaly. She looked like trouble and she smelled like . . . grasshoppers.
Shirley Chameleon leaned on my desk. Her chartreuse scarf tickled my nose.
"Hey, Chet," she said.
"Hey, Shirley," I answered.
"Haven’t seen you around for a while," she said. "Where’ve you been?"
"Duh. Right here in class." I’ve always been fast with a comeback.
"Listen, I need your help," she said.
I checked out the classroom. Old Man Ratnose was busy grading papers. Tony Newt was scribbling rude designs on Walter Pigeon’s tail feathers while his brother stifled giggles. The other students were reading their books or quietly torturing each other. Kids.
"Okay, Shirley," I said. "Let’s step into my office."
We walked back behind the aquarium.
"Sit," I said. She sat. She turned a deep brown, to match the chair. Chameleons do that.
"Spill your guts," I said. She spilled.
"It’s my little brother, Billy," said Shirley.
I knew the kid. He had Day-Glo stripes and a bad attitude. He liked to light matches off his scales and put them out in his nostrils.
Pretty tough for a first grader.
"What’s up with Billy?" I asked Shirley. "Did he steal some kindergartner’s lunch money?"
"No, it’s not that, it’s— oh, never mind." Shirley shook her head and stood up. One tearful eye looked at me while her other eye watched a gnat flying above us. Chameleons do that.
"Yuck, stop it," I said. "Look at me with both eyes."
"I can’t help Billy unless you tell me what’s wrong," I said. "I need a lead."
"A lead. A place to start."
She dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. I zapped my tongue out and nailed the gnat. No sense in wasting good food. But I almost choked on the bug when she finally answered.
"Billy has disappeared," she said. "He never showed up for school. I found his book bag on the playground, and I— I just know something’s wrong." Shirley turned a lovely shade of blue.
She was the kind of girl I could have fallen for. If I liked girls.
"Couldn’t Billy be playing hooky?" I said.
"The last time he played hooky without me, I tied his tail into a knot."
I blinked. No wonder Billy had a bad attitude.
"Still, have you checked his usual hangouts?" I said. "You know, the mall, the sandbox, the tattoo parlor?"
"I tried all those places," said Shirley. "No luck. He’s gone."
"I wonder where he went," I said.
"Oh, that’s great." She pouted. "You’re some detective. You’re supposed to know these things."
"I’m a detective, not a mind reader," I said.
She grabbed my arm.
"Chet, you’ve got to find him today, before the football game."
"Why? Has he got the football?" I chuckled.
"It’s not funny. My family is coming to the game, and I’m supposed to watch Billy. If he’s not there, my mom will kill me."
Shirley shuddered and turned a little green around the gills (or where her gills would’ve been, if she’d been a fish).
"So, you don’t have anything for me to go on?" I said.
"There is one thing," she said. "At breakfast he said he had to meet with someone named Herman." She looked down. "I think Herman’s nickname is Monster, or something like that."
Swell. Just swell.
The first case of a new school year, and already things were looking bad. The last time Shirley saw her little brother, he was talking about meeting a Gila monster named Herman.
And most first graders would rather spend summer vacation in a box with the bogeyman than spend a few friendly minutes with Herman the Gila Monster.
It was going to be a long day.
Copyright © 2000 by Bruce Hale
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at www.harcourt.com/contact or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.
Meet the Author
BRUCE HALE is the author of Snoring Beauty, illustrated by Howard Fine, as well as the fifteen Chet Gecko mysteries. A popular speaker, teacher, and storyteller for children and adults, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Loved it! So cool I can't wait to read the next book
I personally recommend this book!It's a good book for anyone who likes a mystery!
Is it Good or mystirus? I would say BOTH WHICH IS AWESOMELY COOL( sory i think i over reacted ) (i am 8 and not that good at spelling) If you like good mystories READ TTTTHHHHIIISSSSSSS Singed awesomely asdfghjklq
Do you like a mystery book with comedy in it? Well if you do then try reading The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse. This extravagant book by Bruce Hale is great for kids who love talking animals.
Chet Gecko is an animal who solves all types of mysteries. He is always getting in trouble. Natalie is Chet¿s partner. She is a mocking bird who is helpful. Shirley is Billy¿s sister. She is easily spooked and is very emotional. Billy is always up to something.
This book is about Shirley¿s brother¿s disappearance. Now it is up to Chet Gecko to find him. Well, of course, with the help of his partner Natalie. Now Chet is under pressure, because he has to find Billy before the prep rally. Will Chet find Billy in time?
Bruce Hale began his career as a writer while living in Tokyo and continued it when he moved to Hawaii in 1983. Bruce Hale has a thing for lizards. When Bruce is not writing or illustrating he likes to perform music. He has been shown on stage, television and in a move called ¿The Ride." Bruce taught writing workshop in colleges. From his books you would never guess that Bruce loves to travel, he has been to Hawaii, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Bruce Hale also wrote Murder my Tweet, Give my Regrets to Broadway and The Mystery of Mr. Nice. He has also written many other Chet Gecko mysteries.
This book relates to everyone because, everyone has lost something and needed help finding it. Once I lost a favorite stuffed animal. I looked everywhere! I couldn¿t find it! So then I finally, gave up. Then I told my mom, and she looked under my bed and it was there! I felt so crazy! I had looked everywhere, but under my bed. But I learned a lesson from the book ¿Chameleon Wore Chartreuse,¿ never to give up!
The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse, is about Chet Gecko, a fourth grade lizard at Emerson Elementary School, who was finding someone for a friend, struggling with the school bully, and likes to solves mysteries. He is trying to find Billy, a chameleon, who keeps on disappearing. Shirley is also a chameleon, who is Chet Gecko¿s teacher. Billy is funny because he drew a picture of himself beating a gila monster. Herman is a gila monster that bullies Chet Gecko and is kicked out of the football team for biting off a referee¿s ear. In this book, Chet Gecko stands up to the school bully. This reminds me of a school bully from my cousin¿s school who my cousin had to stand up to also. This is a mystery book. If you like mysteries, you¿ll probably like this book. I recommend this book for people 10 and up.
Okay, first off, I am 12, and I was just looking for an easy read which would entertain me. My friend said I'd finish it in a day, but I loved it! I can't wait to read the others! No matter how old you are, this is a fun read to read yourself or to others!