Super Sleuth I by Jackie Vivelo
middle grade mystery novel
Release Date: 07/04/2013
Ellen Sloan is the brains behind The Beagle Detective Agency, but she has to admit that partner Charlie “Beagle” Beaghley is the one who finds all the mysteries. Hone your detective skills as you follow Ellen and Beagle through a summer of dirty dogs, cowboys, and real-life diamond thieves. In this unique solve-it-yourself mystery book, each chapter features a logic puzzle designed to help you unlock your mystery-solving know-how.
Be a detective and see if you can figure out whodunit every time right along with Ellen! Once you learn her special way of analyzing clues, you’ll be a super sleuth too.
“This features twelve mysteries that readers are invited to solve…. Kids who catch on to the method should eagerly devour the mysteries.” –Booklist
Only one thing could ever have persuaded me to become Charles Beaghley’s partner—boredom. Charlie, also known as Beagle, is the only person my age in the whole neighborhood, and nothing was happening last March. So, when he said he was starting a detective agency and wanted me for a partner, I said I’d think it over.
When he came back the next day and said he had his first case, I said, “Okay.”
So now it’s June. School’s out, and every day I go and sit in the shed behind Beagle’s house. Nothing’s happening. I’m bored again. So today I went in to tell Beagle I quit.
“We’ll get another job,” Charlie said. “Hang around, Ellen. I’ll think of something.”
“Charles Beaghley, the only case we ever had was finding Mrs. Radcliffe’s dog. I’m the one who did all the work, searched the neighborhood, knocked on doors. I’m the one who found the dog. And then when Mrs. Radcliff paid us, who got the money?” I demanded.
“I split the fee with you, Ellen,” the Beagle said, but he was squirming.
“Sure, but I don’t like the way you split it, five dollars for me and ten for you.”
“Haven’t you heard of overhead?” Beagle blustered.
“Overhead! What do you have to pay for? This shed belongs to your dad, and he pays for the electricity. So what expenses do you have?”
“I bought notebooks and pens!” Beagle said triumphantly. He pulled out a small notebook and handed it to me. “Stay on the job, Ellen. I’ve just thought of a case.”
“What case? There was no case ten minutes ago.”
“Uh, well, nobody’s hired us for this one, but I think we can get it if we just apply. It’s another missing dog.”
I narrowed my eyes and glared at him with suspicion.
Beagle squirmed even more under my stare, and my suspicion turned to certainty.
“Charles Beaghley, if you turn dognapper, I’ll never speak to you again!”
“Just once, Ellen. Twice at the most is all we’d have to do it. It would make our reputation.”
“Ruin our reputations, you mean. Beagle, I think you’re a crook at heart.”
This seemed as good a time as any to clear out. Boy, was I ever fed up with Charlie. Beagle? Weasel, his name should be.
I walked home along the path beside Turtle Creek, kicked a few stones, and told myself I didn’t care how many dogs Beagle stole and then “found” for people. He was a crook and a creep.
At home, I got out my bike and headed for Crooked Hill Road. I was halfway up the hill when I glanced back and saw Beagle, red-faced and puffing, running after me. I thought about pedaling away, but at the last second I stopped and waited for him to catch up.
It’s hard to dislike somebody, even a skunk, who likes you as much as Beagle likes me.
“We’ve got a case!” he gasped.