Reviews for Malted Falcon : From the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye
Booklist Monthly Selections - # 1 May 2003
Gr. 3-5. Two cases! What luck for Emerson Hickey Elementary School's brash, young lizard detective Chet Gecko and his mockingbird partner Natalie Attired. Unfortunately, neither case is a snap to solve as the critters quickly discover in their latest mystery, which leaves them scrambling to find both a missing valentine and the winning ticket for a scrumptious, stupendous dessert. With an over-the-top, tough-guy image (think Bogie with a penchant for wacky wordplay) and an antipathy toward the opposite sex (eeeuw . . . "cooties!"), Chet has plenty of personality. The illustrations are a bit sweet for the tone, and some of the allusions and jokes will fly right over the heads of younger readers (Zoomin' Mayta teaches music), but the goofball humor and the wacky goings-on will definitely please Gecko's fans and also win a few converts to the long-running series. Just right for the armchair detective who likes mysteries on the light side. ((Reviewed May 1, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
When Chet Gecko's suspects (and clients) thwart his efforts to recover a prizewinning ticket for a tasty dessert, Emerson Hicky Elementary's detective is ""as short on ideas as a ten-year-old TV sitcom."" The great gecko's wisecracks are up to par, but readers may struggle with the overlarge, albeit humorously sketched cast. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2003 March #1
The metaphors fly thicker than flies on ripe garbage in fourth-grade gumshoe Chet Gecko's seventh schoolyard caper. It's a tangled web indeed for Chet and mockingbird sidekick Natalie Attired: a prizewinning ticket good for a year's worth of jumbo desserts from a local mall's sweet shop has been stolen-but by whom, and for that matter, from whom? Suspects abound, from shifty prairie dog Freddie Nostrils and compulsive liar Lili Padd to Sally Monella, tough girlfriend of burly marmot Bert "Sounds like a colorful character" Umber. Being the gourmandizing gecko that he is, Chet takes an intense personal interest in the case-particularly after he's kidnapped by hulking muskrat minions of a shadowy "Mr. Big." Tucking in an occasional black-and-white drawing to mark the high (or low) points, Hale propels his tough-talking shamus all over Emerson Hickey Elementary in search of clues (and snacks), then wraps up the mystery with a kidnapping and a brisk dustup. A teacher turns out to be the real villain, and Chet is left at the end weighing whether to turn the recovered ticket over-or in. The sleuth with the smart mouth shows no signs of slowing down (or graduating, for that matter), and should continue to draw fans like fleas to a dog show. (Fiction. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 March # 2
Mysteries of a lighter nature are illuminated in Bruce Hale's The Malted Falcon, the 10th entry from the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye. This time the gecko gumshoe and his mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, track down a winning ticket for a chocolate dessert. With Hale it's the setting, not the solution, that's elementary (as in elementary school), and anything hardboiled is likely to be edible as well. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 June
Gr 3-5-With characteristic pizzazz and the help of his mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, the fourth-grade detective takes on two cases at the same time. Freddie Nostrils hires him to locate his "friend's" lost winning ticket to the Malted Falcon contest-a chance to enjoy a favorite dessert once a week for a year-and Lili Padd wants him to retrieve a valentine. The two cases turn out to have much in common. Hale entertains with a noir style adapted for a young audience, and the full-page, black-and-white illustrations are adorable. Those who haven't read a "Chet Gecko" mystery don't know what they're missing.-Saleena L. Davidson, South Brunswick Public Library, Monmouth Junction, NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.