Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case

Ulf Nilsson (Author) Gitte Spee (Illustrator)
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The detective lay in bed with his eyes closed. But he couldn't sleep. He was thinking. He always thought best in bed. Especially with his eyes closed.

Something is going on in the forest: one of the animals is saying nasty things about the other forest creatures. But no one dares make a statement to the police. Who is the culprit?

Detective Gordon and his assistant Buffy must investigate But this is a complicated case. The two police officers split the workload: Buffy questions the suspects, while Gordon stays in bed to think.

Once the investigation is over, Detective Gordon plans to go fishing and eat all the cakes he wants to. And maybe then Buffy will be appointed Police Chief But that won't happen unless this case can be solved...

Detective Gordon: A Complicated Case is a warm and humor-filled follow-up to the well-reviewed Detective Gordon: The First Case.

Product Details

$16.98  $15.62
Gecko Press
Publish Date
March 01, 2016
6.1 X 0.6 X 8.3 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Ulf Nilsson is a celebrated children's writer based in Sweden. He has won the August Prize and the Batchelder Award.

Gitte Spee graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a renowned academy of fine art and design in the Netherlands. She now works in Amsterdam as a children's book illustrator.


In their second case (Detective Gordon: The First Case, rev. 5/15), Detective Gordon (an elderly toad feeling his age) and Police Assistant Buffy (a young mouse determined to prove herself) face the issue of bullying. Someone has been saying 'nasty things' to fellow forest creatures. The victims are too afraid to identify the culprit, so Gordon and Buffy investigate--not only who is doing the bullying, but why. The truth of the situation is, indeed, more complicated than it first appears, and as before, Gordon and Buffy's application of the law is just and compassionate. During the investigation, Gordon contemplates the distinctions between intentional nastiness, accidental 'un-nice'-ness, and thoughtlessness, and the partners 'fess up to occasional unkindness' of their own. 'Police must always tell the truth, ' after all, and 'must always investigate themselves.' Text and illustrations alike are full of humor and affection, making for a thoughtful but light-handed exploration of the topic. By case's end Buffy has earned a promotion (and learned to read) and Gordon has embarked on a much-needed vacation, leaving things in Buffy's capable paws. Loose black line drawings with washes of warm color portray the friends, their cozy home, and the forest community they serve and protect.--The Horn Book Magazine

-- "Journal"

Detective Gordon is a pudgy toad with a strong penchant for cakes and a predilection for naps. Luckily for all involved, his assistant Buffy, an energetic and kind-hearted mouse, is always by his side and ready to work. When Buffy discovers that not everyone in the forest is happy and, indeed, some have become 'sad and serious, ' the two set off to investigate. As they interview various witnesses, such as a weepy crow and a depressed rabbit, the two realize that someone is being intentionally cruel, and this constitutes a major crime for these gentle creatures. In order to solve the case, Buffy and Gordon must brave some of their own fears to figure out who is spreading gloom throughout the land. Once again, Nilsson (Detective Gordon: The First Case, [Gecko, 2015]) delivers a rare gem of a book with age-appropriate content for precocious young readers. Full of droll asides and an emphasis on the importance of kindness, this is also an excellent read-aloud selection for classrooms or families. Spee's charming illustrations add just the right feel to the gentle tone of the text, which is translated from the original Swedish. While it is optimal if kids have the read the first book, it certainly is not necessary. VERDICT A wonderful choice for independent readers who enjoy light mystery and adorable anthropomorphized animals, this is a must-have for chapter book collections.―starred, School Library Journal

-- "Journal"

Something's amiss in Detective Gordon's forested police district. Detective Gordon, a toad, wakes to find the morning cake tin, the afternoon cake tin, and the evening cake tin all missing. Oh no! Luckily Police Assistant Buffy, a mouse, saw Gordon walk in his sleep and take the tins outside. That case is solved easily enough, but another looms: everyone in the wood seems somehow sad. The police force investigates. No one will name the culprit, but it turns out there's some teasing going on. Careful detective work exposes the bully. However, the case is far from cut and dry. Good thing they have the Book of Law to remind them what's forbidden, though Buffy must first learn to read in order to consult it on her own. Swedish author Nilsson's second Detective Gordon woodland mystery has all the charm and whimsy of the first. A complicated case meets a complicated solution in this tale of intergenerational friendship that's deeply respectful of its audience of young independent readers. It's a sort of Frog and Toad meets Mayberry R.F.D. Spee's plentiful soft and slightly squiggly illustrations of clothed animals bring Nilsson's comfortable little world to life. Readers will be hoping this isn't Detective Gordon's last case. Put Detective Gordon's stamp on it: KLA-DUNK! Another winner.--starred, Kirkus Reviews

-- "Journal"

When Detective Gordon's assistant, the little mouse named Buffy, observes that the animals in their forest look troubled and sad, the two police officers investigate and determine that someone has been bullying the animals by saying unkind and even nasty things. But who? An old and frequently tired toad, Gordon appreciates the energy and optimism that Buffy brings to her work. Their teamwork helps them solve the mystery, but it's their camaraderie that readers will remember best. Children who vicariously enjoyed the little cakes that sustained the officers in Detective Gordon: First Case (2015) will be equally intrigued by the box of old clothing here, the source of their many disguises. Large and small, the many colorful illustrations perfectly capture the lovable, idiosyncratic characters and their woodland world. An appended two-page map, which features characters as well as settings, allows kids to retell the story using visual cues. First published in Sweden, this beguiling chapter book is a fine choice for young independent readers or for reading aloud.--Booklist Online

-- "Website"