“What’s that smell in the Dell? / Do tell! / W—e—l—l…it comes from a cheese. / A great big cheese. A smelly, scrumptious cheese, / if you please.”
The cheese is so smelly the denizens of the Dell keep it in the middle of a field on a stone; it’s so yummy that they all gather together on each full moon to eat a small piece. But one night, the cheese is gone! So Farmer Jones does the only thing he can think to do: call Sherlock Bones, a hound dog of a detective in a houndstooth-check coat. Sherlock uses his senses and his smarts to solve the spiniest of mysteries. He asks the right questions; he follows his nose. He writes down his clues, and he confronts…a giant?! When the cheese thief is brought to justice, everyone celebrates and congratulates Sherlock Bones. Crummel and Donohue try to capture the rollicking wit of their Ten-Gallon Bart series and miss the mark. Donohue’s layered pencil and cut-paper illustrations are as detailed and expressive (especially the saggy, solemn Sherlock) as ever. However, shoehorning a logical investigation into a goofy tale of a pizza-making giant and a cheese cult that stores their Roquefort on a rock in the middle of a field doesn't fit.
An additional purchase even after Sherlock explains his clues. (Picture book. 4-8)