Archer (of the Urgency Emergency! series) takes on the mystery genre in her new Detective Paw of the Law series.
Dream team Detective Paw (an old dog) and Patrol Officer Prickles (a young porcupine) sure love solving crime together—even when it’s hard. Early one Monday morning at Big City Police Headquarters, a call interrupts Detective Paw’s doughnut breakfast. Someone has robbed Piggy’s Bank! With notebook, pencil, and magnifying glass in hand, Detective Paw speeds to the scene of the crime in his Vintagemobile. The first to greet Detective Paw is Patrol Officer Prickles, who uses his “electronic notepad” to present the existing evidence. Detective Paw individually interviews the bank employees and cross-checks their alibis. Since the safe isn’t broken, only someone with the keys to unlock it could be the culprit. But who? Divided into four chapters, the step-by-step story logically follows the detective’s thought process as readers crack the case alongside him. Though there can be up to 16 lines per page, ample leading helps give the text a spacious feel. Archer’s mix of colorful full-page and spot illustrations aids in decoding more complex sentences. Her expressive, cartoony character design delightfully accentuates comedic moments. The Case of The Stolen Drumsticks, which is different in plot but identical in formula, publishes simultaneously.
A serviceable introduction to sleuthing for more fluent readers who are almost ready for early chapter books. (Early reader/mystery. 5-7)