The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake: A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery
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"Two police mice, one missing cake, a bunch of suspects--it's a big case!
When Miss Rabbit leaves her carrot cake (with cream-cheese icing) out to cool and returns later to find only a mess of crumbs, she calls Detective Wilcox and Capt. Griswold. Over 100 animals on Ed's farm means there's a lot of suspects. Tongue firmly in cheek, Wilcox tells the story of this challenging case in clipped tones reminiscent of Dragnet. Fowler, the observant owl, loves rabbits, he informs readers. 'She liked them for breakfast. She liked them for lunch. And she loved them for dinner.' His narration is peppered with food references that elevate this entertaining mystery, already fizzing with humor and inside jokes. To open their investigation, they slide down the rabbit hole, but Miss Rabbit does not have a crumb of an idea. The repeated food-based idioms (hard nut to crack, slower than molasses, take the cake) alternate with puns that a young reader will appreciate. When questioning Porcini the pig, Wilcox accuses, 'Seems like you've spent some time in the pen.' The droll language is complemented with full-color cartoon illustrations that extend the text and add to the laughter. Readers ready for chapter books will solve the crime and then be surprised by the twist at the end.
Here's hoping for more hard-boiled detecting from Wilcox and Griswold!"--starred, Kirkus Reviews
"Icing and crumbs everywhere. It was horrible. When Captain Griswold and Detective Wilcox (two MFIs--missing food investigators) receive a frantic call from Miss Rabbit, there's no doubt they have a code 12 on their paws--missing cake, carrot. After investigating the crime scene, the police mice begin questioning the farm's residents to try to get a bead on a suspect. However, it's the MFIs' video surveillance that exposes the crook's surprising identity. Giving a playful nod to the hard-boiled detective, Newman has written a highly entertaining mystery for young gumshoes. Zemke's cartoonish illustrations range from spot to full page and also play up the classic detective angle, outfitting the MFIs in fedoras and trenches. Presented as a case file, short chapters will be easily digestible to newly independent readers. A recipe for Mollie Katzen's carrot cake closes the case, though adults will need to lend young bakers a hand. A good choice for those not quite ready to tackle Chet Gecko or Geronimo Stilton on their own."--Booklist-- (3/9/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"This hardboiled first entry in the Wilcox and Griswold Mystery series follows two mice on the hunt for the carrot cake that has gone missing from Miss Rabbit's home. Simultaneously no-nonsense and full of nonsense, Newman's Dragnet-style narrative works in a bevy of food- and animal-themed crime jokes as the two Missing Food Investigators interview suspects across the farmyard (Porcini the pig's rap sheet 'was a mile long for corn robberies, but he had no cake priors'). Zemke's cartoons, a mix of spot illustrations and full-page images, keep step with the lighthearted mood; it's a good pick for fans of Geoffrey Hayes's Otto and Uncle Tooth, Jennifer Lloyd's Murilla Gorilla, and other literary sleuths in the making."--Publishers Weekly-- (3/9/2020 12:00:00 AM)
"When crime happens, especially when food goes missing on the farm, everyone knows who to call: Wilcox and Griswold, mouse crime fighters and food detectives. When Miss Rabbit's carrot cake goes missing, they're on the case. Using the latest technology (video surveillance) and old-fashioned police interrogations, they get to the bottom of the mystery. There are plenty of amusing characters and even more hilarious puns to be found along the way. With lovely, warm full-color illustrations on every page and case file/journal-style entries, this simple tale will be a hit for advanced beginning readers. It is a fantastic choice for that last step before chapter books (perhaps before another famous mouse detective/journalist known for his illustrated easy chapter books). Sweet and charming, this title offers a simple mystery that provides just the right amount of whodunit mixed with humor and good friendship.
VERDICT Reminiscent of Marjorie Weinman Sharmat's 'Nate the Great' series (Random), this well-illustrated work will find plenty of readers and should find a home in most school and public libraries."--School Library Journal-- (3/9/2020 12:00:00 AM)