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Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints


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About the Author

Donald J. Sobol was the author of the highly acclaimed Encyclopedia Brown series and many other books. His awards include a special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his contribution to mystery writing in the United States, and the Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers' Choice Award for Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace.


There will be a brisk demand for Sobol's new book about the boy detective whose adventures have been bestsellers for years. Lively drawings by Owens illustrate 10 cases that Leroy (Encyclopedia) solves and invites readers to puzzle out. In the title story, it seems that odd handprints will make a wheelchair-bound guest a suspect in the theft of his host's valuables. But Encyclopedia recognizes the red herring, absolves the innocent and clinches the case against the culprit. The clues are presented fairly and the solutions are appended for stumped whodunit fans. A simultaneous publication is Encyclopedia Brown's 3rd Record Book of Weird & Wonderful Facts, with pictures by Sal Murdocca; $10.25 ISBN 0-688-05705-5 . (812)

Gr 3-6 The ten-year-old sleuth, accompanied by his ``Watson,'' Sally, solves ten more cases which plague Idaville. Readers are encouraged to guess the solutions, which are printed at the end of the book. Each case is a short five pages in large type, with a simple plot. The solutions usually follow logically from the set-up, and readers just have to pay careful attention to the clues. There are a couple, however, that depend upon special knowledge that a child might not have. Still, readers can enjoy the revelation and admire Encyclopedia for knowing. Much of the evidence wouldn't stand up in a court of law, but who cares? The villain usually confesses anyway. Idaville has a small town atmosphere, and everyone seems to utter cute, folksy turns of phrase, some of them real groaners like, ``she could move in the best circles without going straight.'' One full-page pen-and-ink drawing accompanies each story, and a half-page illustration appears with each solution. No doubt the book will be as popular as the other books in the series, and it won't let fans down. Annette Curtis Klause, Montgomery County Libraries, Md.

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