THE MYSTERY OF MR. NICE by Bruce Hale

THE MYSTERY OF MR. NICE

Age Range: 8 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Green-scaled gumshoe Chet Gecko hits his stride in this hard-boiled follow-up to The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse (p. 475). What with a plug-ugly new janitor, new Assistant Principal Clint Squint’s “PEN [sic] STATE” tattoo and a formerly sourpuss Principal Zero suddenly turned eerily sweet-tempered, there is definitely something rotten at Emerson Hickey Elementary School. Leave it to Chet, his mockingbird sidekick Natalie Attired, and little Popper, a tree frog schoolmate on hyperdrive, to dig up the dirt: the real Principal Zero has been kidnapped by thugs who plan to smooth-talk the PTA into turning Emerson Hickey into a vocational school—for young crooks. Hale throws in wisecracks by the handful, terrible jokes (“Why was the tuna so sad when he lost his wife? He lobster and couldn’t flounder! Ha ha!”), and daffy clues, tucks in an occasional broadly comic pen-and-ink sketch of his trenchcoat-clad shamus and associates, and brings the pot, er, plot, to a boil at a raucous PTA meeting that sees the crooks nabbed in the nick. Hold on to your fedoras: this gecko’s going places. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-15-202271-6
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000




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