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Crime Scene Whodunits
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Gr 5-8-Sleuth J. L. Quicksolve and his associates fight crime in these two solve-them-yourself collections. In each three- to five-page "mini-mystery," the detectives examine the crime scene and present readers with clues to crack. The cases range from simple pranks to robbery, stalking, and murder. The writing style is variable-sometimes light and bantering and at other times deadly serious. Although solutions are given at the back of the books, the mysteries are not all completely resolved. Frequently, the detective merely suggests a possible explanation that is never actually confirmed. In one case, the answer is simply left up in the air. In addition, some solutions require knowledge beyond what is presented in the text. Punny names (e.g., Sergeant Shurshot) provide a touch of humor, but the characters are stock figures with little depth. Black-and-white sketches appear throughout. Steer budding detectives to Donald J. Sobol's Two-Minute Mysteries (Scholastic, 1986) instead.-Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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