James DeSalvo has been a teacher for the past twenty years. He has published articles for several newspapers and continues to write. He is also an actor, having done several shows both regionally and Off-off Broadway (He is also one of the few actors never to have been on Law and Order). He has been a crime victims rights advocate and continues to support crime victims. He lives in New York State's Hudson Valley. He is the author of Connie Cobbler: Toy Detective, as well as Miss Mary Pennynickle's Tales of Torment for Toddlers, Miss Mary Pennynickle's Fairytales of Foreboding and Miss Mary Pennynickle's Hellish Horrors of History. www.jamesdesalvoauthor.com Follow on Twitter @jamesdesalvo
If you're already a fan of James DeSalvo and his Miss Mary Pennynickle stories, you won't be disappointed by his newest creation. Once again he has used his razor sharp sense of humor to entertain, though Connie Cobbler's story is not so wicked as Miss Mary's stories.
The story follows the adventures of a doll named Connie Cobbler, who has become an excellent private detective in wake of a tragedy that changed her life and ended her career on the hit show, "Connie Cobbler and the Pastry Pals". Now, she finds herself a target and must solve her own case.
James DeSalvo uses humor in the smallest details to move her story along. Some of my favorite lines:
"The employees were whispering in panicked tones. One of them, a toy with a pull string in her back, came over to me. She reached behind her back and pulled her string. 'May I help you, ma'am?'"
"`Connie, you're a soft stuffed toy. What harm could you do?' Go ahead. Think that way. A lot of toys do. That's when I surprise them. I didn't spend all those years hanging around with action figures and not pick up a thing or two."
"There's no toy harder to get information out of than a sad clown."
There are so many mini details like these that will make you literally laugh out loud. It's very cleverly written. The characters run the gamut from dolls to stuffed gorillas, poodles and bears, to things as unexpected as Lt. Rook (a chess piece).
I think it probably isn't for the younger crowd with its mature themes, but I think middle grade and high schoolers will thoroughly enjoy it, as well as any adult with a sense of humor. Pure entertainment!
My household ranges from mid thirties to tweens and this book has been passed around more than once and has become the new favorite here hands down!!! James DeSalvo delivers on all aspects of humor and a thumping good mystery for all. I actually have to thank the brilliant author for bringing home more than a 5 minute conversation between my kids and we parent folk through this reading adventure. We highly recommend this book for anyone who can stand a good and hearty chuckle that goes hand in hand with a great story !! Cheers and Happy Reading to All!!
I love this story! Connie Cobbler, a hard-boiled (heh-heh) Toy Detective is just what I needed, a fast-paced read in a story that is excellent, never takes itself too seriously, is well-written, and fun to read! Yep, I'm an adult. I happened onto this through an Amazon search for detective fiction (I can't get enough of it) and I have ups and downs with unknown (to me at least) writers. But I gave this a try and ENJOYED EVERY LETTER! Connie Cobbler, normally hired to find missing toys or locating deadbeat dolls, but all that changed when Brenda walked into her office on that fateful day... I highly recommend this story and I'm thrilled I added it to my Kindle library.
Have you ever picked up a book, read the first page and found it so enjoyable that you just breezed through? Connie Cobbler: Toy Detective was that book for me. I picked it up, met Connie and fell in love with the toy based world that James Desalvo built for his readers. An hour later I was done with the book, amazed at the ending, and totally in love!
In case you are wondering, yes, the whole cast of characters in this book are indeed toys! After all, Connie is a toy detective. The reader gets to meet dolls, stuffed animals and action figures of all shapes and sizes. The best part? All the subtle and snide humor that is packed into this story. From the names of the characters, to the way they interact, there is a giggle on every page. Reading this book actually kind of transported me back to the days when I had some of these toys. I laughed over the pull string doll who had to pull her string in order to get a word in edgewise. Ah toy humor!
At the core of this lighthearted read though is a genuinely intriguing mystery. Someone wants Connie dead, and parts of her past are coming back to haunt her. DeSalvo throws in some really fantastic twists and turns that keep you guessing. I thought I had the mystery solved about half way through, and then I was hit with the realization that I was completely off track. When the character you think did it bites the dust....you're clearly not solving the mystery very well.
I'll sum it up here. This is a highly enjoyable and quick read! If you appreciate some good snide humor and love a light mystery, then this is a book for you. I give James DeSalvo tons of credit for creating such a fun read. I cannot wait to see what is coming up next for me to read!
Connie Cobbler is now a grade A private eye who has learned many tricks of the trade from her best friend Action Jim, so when she starts investigating and weird things start happening to her, she should be prepared. But even a private eye can't get herself out of every situation unharmed...
This is just a fun read from start to finish. It's intriguing enough to keep a middle reader reading without stop. Heck, it was intriguing enough to keep me reading nonstop! It's silly enough (Custard River? Tiffany Tart!) to keep young readers entertained throughout and the alliterative names of the characters, or more appropriately, toys, is just a fun addition to the storyline. There are hidden clues throughout the book, but I was still guessing until just about the end of the story, so I suspect that a middle reader will be guessing to their very end.
The story is engaging, the characters have distinct personalities, and you simply won't want to put this book down.