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DEEP DOO-DOO AND THE MYSTERIOUS E-MAIL by Michael Delaney

DEEP DOO-DOO AND THE MYSTERIOUS E-MAIL

By Michael Delaney

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-525-46530-8
Publisher: Dutton

The enterprising young muckrakers who barely made their way out of Deep Doo-Doo (1996) once again find themselves ankle deep in local politics. When a pumpkin appears atop City Hall’s flagpole, stuttering electronics wiz Bennet and his glib sidekick, Pete, rush to post the story on their Deep Doo-Doo Web site—only to find that they’ve been scooped by journalistic arch-rival Elizabeth, editor of the school paper, The Purple Patch. When the town paper offers $500 for the prankster’s identity, the three start digging—separately at first, then, with utmost reluctance, together. The plot thickens with the arrival of coded e-mail from someone offering to trade clues for a Dracula mask that figured prominently in the first episode (and which later turns up on E-bay). Even better, there’s the discovery of an old college-yearbook photo of mayoral candidate Robert Abbott (who is running a character-based campaign) streaking. As it turns out, Abbott, e-mailer, and pumpkin are all connected—not in particularly believable ways, but the young sleuths supply enough competition (becoming cooperation, and even friendship, by the end), reckless pursuit of the story, and clever deduction to keep the ball rolling. They win the reward too, forcing Abbott into a public confession that actually helps his campaign by convincing voters that he’s not such a stick in the, er, mud. A contrived but entertaining whodunit. (Fiction. 9-11)