Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries

BOOK: Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries
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Table of Contents
A division of Penguin Young Readers Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014, U.S.A. Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700,Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
(a division of Penguin Books Ltd)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
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Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310,
New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,
Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Text copyright © 2007 by Donna Jo Napoli and Robert Furrow Illustrations copyright © 2007 by Heather Maione
eISBN : 978-1-101-50305-8
[1. Food—Fiction. 2. Friendship—Fiction. 3. Mystery and detective stories.] I. Furrow, Robert, date. II. Maione, Heather Harms, ill. III. Title.
PZ7.N15Skq 2007

Thanks to our family, and Rebecca Waugh and Lauri Hornik, (and Taxi, of course)
—D.J.N and R.F.
For Bob, who thankfully understands that cooking has always been a mystery to me
Case #1: Sly and Something Fishy
Slow Season
I kneeled on the floor by my sign. In black letters I wrote: SLEUTH FOR HIRE. That is the name of my agency.
I looked at it hard. My father says ads should catch the eye. They should be bold. My sign was not bold.
Brian was beside me. He was working on his picture of a T. rex. Brian is my neighbor. He's only four. But he can be good company. Sometimes.
Brian's T. rex was orange and blue and lime. With purple stripes.
He added a giant tooth. In red.
It was bold.
“Can I borrow your red crayon?” I asked.
Brian put his finger in his mouth. He handed me the red crayon.
It had no tip. Neither did his other crayons. And this was a new pack.
“Brian, you press too hard.”
Brian mumbled. I couldn't understand. His finger was still in his mouth.
“Why's your finger in your mouth?” I asked.
Brian pulled his finger out. He wiped it on his sleeve. “Are you putting hearts on it?” he asked.
“You mean my sign?”
“Red is good for hearts,” said Brian.
“Why would I put hearts on my sign?”
Brian laughed. “For love.”
“What? This is advertising. I need business.”
I hadn't had a new case in weeks.Winter must be the slow season for sleuths.
“Love is good for business.” Brian made a green squiggle on the corner of my sign.
“What's that?”
“Frogs are good for business too.”
That was a frog? But it looked sort of cute.
I printed red words under the black ones that were already there:
The letters were fat, because the crayon had no tip.
But my sign was bold now.
I added hearts.
A little love never hurts.
Too Much Work
I sat on my heels and watched. Brian made a border of frogs on my sign.
“Wilson,” he said.Wilson is what Brian calls his frogs. All his frogs. He has dozens.
I liked it.
“Jack!” screamed Brian.
I knew what he meant. In the fall Jack had banged his soccer ball on my door.
“That's no soccer ball,” I said. “It's too cold for soccer balls.”
Brian ran to the door. He opened it. “Jack!”
Jack tucked his ball under his arm. He came in. Brian didn't say “I told you so.”
But I was annoyed anyway. I don't like being wrong. “I told you before,” I said to Jack. “I prefer knocking.”
“Knocking schmocking,” said Jack.
“What's that mean?” asked Brian.
“Soccer balls are better than knocking,” said Jack. “Hey, nice T. rex.”
“He bites,” said Brian.
Jack jumped. “Grrr!” He showed his teeth.
Brian screamed. He ran behind me.
“What about my sign?” I said.
Jack frowned. “It looks like Christmas. Christmas is past.”
Brian peeked out. “What makes it Christmas?”
“Red and green.”
Brian frowned.
My sign did look Christmas-y.
I frowned now. This was my only piece of poster board. And it was already used on the other side. “What are you doing here, Jack?”
“I have a case for you. About Fluffy.”
Fluffy is Jack's cat. She also happens to be Kate's cat. But Kate calls her Clarissa. And she happens to be a woman named Julie's cat. But Julie calls her Punky.They all share her.
Knock knock knock.
Melody came in. She's my best friend. She knocks. But she never waits for me to open the door.
“I have a case for you,” said Melody.
“I already hired her,” said Jack.
“I'm not hired till I accept,” I said. “I don't even know what your case is, Jack.”
“My case is important,” said Melody. “It's dangerous.”
“Danger!” screamed Brian.
“I was here first,” said Jack.
“Two cases at once,” I said.“Let me think.”
“Yay!” shouted Brian. “Christmas worked.”
“What?” said Melody.
I pointed at my sign.“He means my sign worked. And I haven't even put it in the front yard yet.”
“I wanted to hire you before I saw your sign,” said Jack.
“I did too,” said Melody.
“See?” said Brian. “Magic.”
“Oh yeah?” Jack touched the corner of my sign with his sneaker. “Whose case are you taking, Sly?”
This was tough.
Jack had brought me two cases in the past.
One was about Wish Fish, his Siamese fighting fish. The other was about soccer.
Melody had brought me two cases in the past. One was about Pong, her puppy. The other was about kicking.
They were both good clients.
I have two policies. First, I take only cases that are fun. Second, I take only cases a cat would care about. After all, my cat Taxi listens to me talk about cases. I don't want to bore her.
Taxi would like a case about Fluffy-Clarissa-Punky. Probably any cat would.
But Melody was my best friend. And danger should take priority. Plus, Taxi likes Melody.
“I'll take both,” I said.“But Melody's first.”
“No fair,” said Jack. “I ... ” He stopped and looked at Melody. His face turned pink and sappy. “All right. But solve Melody's fast.”
This was a disturbing order. What if Melody's case was hard? “Cases take as long as cases take,” I said.That sounded official.
“You have one week,” said Jack. “My cousins are coming Friday.” He dribbled his ball to the door. “We want to play shuffleboard.” He went out.
BOOK: Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries
8.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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