Chet Gecko, fourth-grade private eye, has been framed. Someone's been stealing the pickled spider eggs, cockroach quiche, happy-spider lasagna, deep-fried termites, and candied butterflies from the Emerson Hicky Elementary cafeteria, and it's not Chet. But while on the case, this hard-boiled detective is tricked into eating a knockout pillbug muffin; when he comes to, he's surrounded by the remnants of someone's filched feast, and no one, not Mrs. Bagoong, the giant iguana cafeteria lady, not even his mockingbird partner, Natalie, believes he's innocent. What's a gecko to do? A lot of detention for one thing. And some deep digging into this mystery, which involves shoulder-rubbing with one Rocky Rhode, a "horned toad with a short fuse and a rap sheet as long as an elephant's suspenders."
The latest in Bruce Hale's Chet Gecko Mystery series (The Mystery of Mr. Nice, The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse, and others) is just as steeped in the lingo and attitude of the detective fiction genre: "Dames. Whether they thought you were a good boy or a bad boy, they always spelled trouble." Sardonic, smart-mouthed, and always, at heart, a fourth grader, Chet Gecko is one of the most winning characters--lizard or other--to come down the pipe in a long time. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter
Danger may be Chet Gecko's business, but dessert is his delight. . . . Chet Gecko's hunger for mystery is matched only by his appetite for cockroach casserole, mosquito marshmallow surprise, and stinkbug pie. So when the cafeteria needs help nabbing a food thief, Chet digs into the case with a passion he usually reserves only for dessert. But this time Chet may have bitten off more than even he can chew. Someone has framed him, and now everyone at Emerson Hicky--even his trusted partner, Natalie Attired--thinks the food thief is none other than Chet!
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