cover image The Mysterious Cases of Mr. Pin

The Mysterious Cases of Mr. Pin

Mary Elise Monsell. Atheneum Books, $12.95 (53pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31435-3

There's trouble afoot at Smiling Sally's diner (where ``the food's good and you meet interesting people''), but fortunately for the city of Chicago, a new detective has arrived in town--Mr. Pin. He's a rather small detective, however, who loves chocolate, and he happens to be a rock hopper penguin from the South Pole. In the three separate chapter stories that comprise this book, Monsell chronicles the sleuthing penguin's adventures in outwitting a number of urban crooks. Although occasionally confusing, the tales are fast-paced and amusing, the characters highly likable. In addition to the clever Mr. Pin, there's Smiling Sally herself, who in one scene hands out food to the homeless--a nice touch these days for a book set in a big city. Christelow's pen-and-ink portraits of Mr. Pin and the rest of the gang add plenty of humor and hold no small amount of charm. Ages 7-10. (Apr.)