Who’s flooding Kalamazoo City with synthetic fish? The Platypus Police Squad is on the case!
Platypus Rick Zengo is ready for his first day as a detective on the Platypus Police Squad. He dreams of living up to the reputation of his grandfather, who helped rid the city of crime boss Frank Pandini Sr. Partnered with stodgy, slow Detective O’Malley, Zengo doesn’t think he has a chance until their first case, the disappearance of teacher William Hopkins, looks to involve dangerous synthetic fish and possibly Kalamazoo City’s new savior, businessman Frank Pandini Jr. Son of the former crime kingpin, he says he’s working to undo the damage his father did. Zengo’s impulsive actions land the duo on safety-patrol duty, but a break in the case might be the key to success! Making his chapter-book debut with this series kick-off, Krosoczka, known for his foolish and fun picture books and the goofy Lunch Lady graphic novels, turns out a surprisingly dull two-joke mystery. Cop platypuses: hysterical! Synthetic fish: funnier than fart jokes! It’s a cop-show-rerun plot full of clichéd characters wearing fur and tails. Occasional black-and-white illustrations (final art not seen) might do a bit to liven things up, but the tale’s got the zip of a broken boomerang.
Juvenile fans of Dragnet or Law & Order: SVU might look forward to Book 2; few others will. (Mystery. 8-12)