From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4 - Nick Trunk, private detective, works for peanuts - he's an elephant. In a deadpan voice, he tells how a beautiful feline walks into his office one morning. She is "trouble" - Maggie Trouble, the assistant to foxy cabaret singer Lola Gale, whose stash of lucky marbles has disappeared. Nick investigates and gathers clues - an ostrich feather, a smudge on the door, an empty jar of expensive peanut butter - and pulls together his list of suspects. He finds the marbles, solves the mystery, and bags the culprit, then moves on to his next case - still working for peanuts. Readers will guess the villain early on but that won't interfere with their enjoyment of the droll story, which is greatly enhanced by delightful illustrations. Cushman uses black watercolor washes, colored pencil, and pastel against a stark white background, suggesting the silver nitrate photographs and popular black-and-white movies of the gumshoe era. The animal characters in their 1930s garb, including Nick in loosened tie, trench coat, and fedora, appear in varying page layouts from partial to full spreads. Nick's conversational tone recalls the famous adult mystery writers of the past; "Sam, Phil, and Dashiell," to whom the book is dedicated, would be proud! - Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
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"With illustrations in a noir-ish gray and a merciless hand with the double entendres...the caper's...a bagful of laughs." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews
"spoof of noir cinema...charcoal-tinged duotone watercolors, a 1939 calendar and a femme fatale set the smoky ambience." PW Publishers Weekly
"...droll strory...greatly enhanced by delightful illustrations...tone recalls the famous adult mystery writers of the past." SLJ School Library Journal