Big Bad Detective Agency

Bruce Hale. Scholastic, $15.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-545-66537-7
Classic fairy tale characters get entertaining modern updates in Hale’s (the Chet Gecko Mysteries) revisionist whodunit. When the homes of the construction company–owning Three Little Pigs are vandalized, all eyes turn to the natural suspect: the Big Bad Wolf. Facing imprisonment and porridge for life, Wolfgang, who claims innocence, must unearth the true villain by sunset. As Wolfgang desperately searches Fairylandia for clues, he partners with an unlikely associate: Ferkel, the fourth little pig. Together, they interview possible criminals with big-time attitudes, including Cinderella—a former paramour of one of the Three Little Pigs (“I dumped his corn-fed butt”), now settled in a lovely mansion working her stepsisters to the bone—and Hansel and Gretel, “greedy, ruthless teenage twins” with a serious sweet tooth. Hale turns familiar story lines and defining characteristics topsy-turvy, and his occasional pencil drawings are well-done and engaging. Wolfgang’s tough-guy demeanor and reluctant use of potentially embarrassing detective techniques (like disguising himself as a granny worthy of Little Red Riding Hood) will amuse readers throughout this original twist on well-known tales. Ages 7–10. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/17/2014
Release date: 01/27/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-545-66538-4
Ebook - 128 pages - 978-0-545-74728-8
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