Reviews for Mystery of Mr. Nice : From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 November 2000
Gr. 4-6. Chet Gecko is one tough lizard, who says such things as "Surprise froze my tongue like a mayfly on a Popsicle" and "My stomach knotted and jerked, like a python swallowing a sofa." Gecko is the best lizard detective at Emerson Hicky Elementary School, a school presided over by fat cat Principal Zero, and attended by all manner of animals who act just like school kids. In this new adventure, Gecko has to determine why Principal Zero is suddenly acting strange--as in nice. Gecko feels Zero has either gone mad or been replaced by an imposter. With mockingbird sidekick Natalie Attired, Chet uses time-honored methods of detection--eavesdropping, sniffing out newcomers, and combing through garbage--to find out what's what. The swift plot, clever wisecracking, and hardboiled style make this chapter book a terrific read. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2001 Spring
Mystery buffs--and newcomers to the genre--will devour Hale's funny chapter books, which feature hotshot detective Chet Gecko and his brainy sidekick, Natalie Attired. In [cf2]The Chameleon,[cf1] Chet and Natalie track down a cheerleader's missing brother. [cf2]Mr. Nice[cf1] pits the duo against hoodlums who intend to turn a school into a training ground for young criminals. Hale's illustrations take the humor up yet another notch. Copyright 2001 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2000 August #1
Green-scaled gumshoe Chet Gecko hits his stride in this hard-boiled follow-up to The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse (p. 475). What with a plug-ugly new janitor, new Assistant Principal Clint Squint's "PEN [sic] STATE" tattoo and a formerly sourpuss Principal Zero suddenly turned eerily sweet-tempered, there is definitely something rotten at Emerson Hickey Elementary School. Leave it to Chet, his mockingbird sidekick Natalie Attired, and little Popper, a tree frog schoolmate on hyperdrive, to dig up the dirt: the real Principal Zero has been kidnapped by thugs who plan to smooth-talk the PTA into turning Emerson Hickey into a vocational school--for young crooks. Hale throws in wisecracks by the handful, terrible jokes ("Why was the tuna so sad when he lost his wife? He lobster and couldn't flounder! Ha ha!"), and daffy clues, tucks in an occasional broadly comic pen-and-ink sketch of his trenchcoat-clad shamus and associates, and brings the pot, er, plot, to a boil at a raucous PTA meeting that sees the crooks nabbed in the nick. Hold on to your fedoras: this gecko's going places. (Fiction. 8-10) Copyright 2000 Kirkus Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 December
Gr 4-6-Humor is the outstanding element of this fast-paced mystery set in an elementary school. Chet Gecko is a sleuth who also deems himself to be an artist. He is caught drawing in class and is sent to the principal's office for discipline. However, something is strange about Mr. Zero's behavior. Chet and his sidekick Natalie, a mockingbird, soon discover that he is an impostor who is plotting to turn Emerson Hicky Elementary into a vocational school for crime. Ultimately, the young detective and his friends save the day. Told from Chet's point of view, the story is filled with corny jokes, clever wordplay, and amusing asides. The action keeps on moving and there is lots of suspense. The droll, black-and-white cartoon drawings add to the fun. A good choice for fans of gumshoe adventures.- Sharon McNeil, Los Angeles County Office of Education Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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