When classrooms start turning up trashed and rumors of a mysterious giant "were-hamster" are whispered in the halls of Emerson Hicky Elementary, Chet Gecko, fourth-grade detective, swings into action. His teacher, Mr. Ratnose, has promised him two get-out-of-detention-free cards and a box of jelly doughnuts if he solves the mystery, and as the case evolves and the moon waxes full, Chet and his mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, are drawn in deeper and deeper. Soon they are going undercover as potential members of the Dirty Rotten Stinkers gang, hiding out in Dumpsters, and working on the sly for fat-cat Principal Zero.
Savvy readers well-versed in Bruce Hale's hilarious wordplay and detective novel spoofs will not be surprised to see that the denouement of this uproarious mystery involves a few shady characters named Erik Nidd (a tarantula bully), Luke Busy (a badger janitor), and Lauren Order (a meek little hamster), as well as a giant makeshift Habitrail. Other titles in the series include Farewell, My Lunchbag and The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse. (Ages 8 to 12) --Emilie Coulter
Chet Gecko doesn't believe in the supernatural. His idea of voodoo is his mom's cockroach ripple ice cream. But when a teacher reports seeing a monster by the light of a full moon, it falls to Chet and his sleek-winged partner, Natalie Attired, to answer the burning question: Is this the work of a vicious, supernatural werehamster on the loose? Or just another science fair project gone wrong?
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