The Case of the Stinky Socks
Review: Milo and Jazz, two school-age amateur sleuths, are introduced in The Case of the Stinky Socks which finds the duo searching for a pair of lucky socks lost by the pitcher of their school baseball team. The second book in the series, The Case of the Poisoned Pig, is being published concurrent with the first. The series is written by Lewis B. Montgomery and illustrated by Amy Wummer.
The Case of the Stinky Socks not only introduces Milo and Jazz, but also their mentor, world-famous private investigator Dash Marlowe, with whom they communicate by mail. Milo receives his first letter from Dash whose advice is, when looking for that next (or this case, his first) assignment, keep a sharp eye out for anything strange or unusual. Milo and Jazz find that when someone nabs the "lucky" socks of the school's star pitcher.
The Case of the Poisoned Pig continues the duo's adventures when Jazz's new pet pig falls ill, and the vet tells her she's been poisoned. Here Dash's advice is to look for a pattern; private investigators see things other people don't. Find the pattern in the clues and the case will be solved.
Both books end with a series of puzzles and brain-teasers only marginally related to the story.
The Milo & Jazz mysteries have an interesting premise and take a thoughtful, procedural approach to solving mysteries at an age-appropriate level. Though the ages of Milo and Jazz aren't explicitly stated, it seems as if they're about 10 years old. The publisher states these early chapter book mysteries are intended for readers aged 7 to 11, but the level of composition suggests readers at the younger end of this range may enjoy them more than older.
The end of book puzzles are a real treat and will likely challenge most readers, regardless of age level. They include finding differences between "identical" pictures, hidden object puzzles, clever riddles, logic and deduction exercises, and a final mini-mystery story.
If these first two books are indicative of what's to follow, the Milo & Jazz mysteries is a series that parents can enjoy reading with their children, together finding the clues and deducing "whodunit". According to the publisher, at least two additional books are planned for publication later this year.
Acknowledgment: Kane/Miller provided a copy of The Case of the Stinky Socks for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Case of the Poisoned Pig
The Kane Press (Trade Paperback), April 2009
ISBN-13: 9781575652863; ISBN-10: 1575652862
Location(s) referenced in The Case of the Stinky Socks:
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The Case of the Stinky Socks by Lewis B. Montgomery — The Milo & Jazz Mysteries
Publisher: The Kane Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: February 2009
List Price: $6.95