Reviews for Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity
Booklist Reviews 2009 October #2
Meet Steve Brixton, who lists The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook at the top of the Fifty-nine Greatest Books of All Time, closely followed by the 58 volumes of the Bailey Brothers Mysteries, a Hardy Boys-style series. Steve, an aspiring boy detective, stumbles into a mystery involving the Maguffin quilt, a priceless artifact hidden by its last guardian before his death and still missing. Playing with the tropes of the Stratemeyer mystery series, the book provides all their action and adventure but adds a level of humor that will sometimes have readers laughing out loud. Similarly, Rex's illustrations have a mid-twentieth-century look, and in an accomplished, deadpan manner, offer one of the book's funniest moments. And though librarians usually roll their eyes when a good-guy librarian character appears in a novel, they may find it hard to resist Barnett's over-the-top portrayal of the profession as an elite undercover force expert in intelligence, counterintelligence, Boolean searching, and hand-to-hand combat. A smart, amusing mystery, this promising first novel is a fine start for the Brixton Brothers series. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton loves detective stories. After picking up a library book full of the nation's secrets, he suddenly finds himself in the middle of a mystery, and everyone thinks he's the villain. The characters are a little one-note (Rex's digital illustrations help round them out), but the story's action and humor should propel reluctant readers. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 September #1
Twelve-year-old Steve Brixton loves all 58 mysteries featuring the intrepid, smart and sporty Bailey Brothers, but his favorite book is The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook because Steve would like to be a detective when he grows up (or so he thinks). When his best friend Dana draws detectives out of the hat as a topic for a social studies paper while he draws early American needlework, Steve's depressed. When he's checking out his library's only book on historical quilts and ninjas descend upon him from the skylights, he's terrified and perplexed. Good thing he knows what a detective should do. He escapes, only to be captured by Librarian Secret Agents (who communicate using Library of Congress numbers). Suddenly everyone (including Mom's cop boyfriend) is treating Steve like a criminal, and if he can't find a cryptographic quilt before the bad guys, he'll be tried for treason! Barnett's coolly hysterical sendup of the Hardy Boys is peppered with excerpts from Bailey Brothers books and (too few of) Rex's tongue-in-cheek black-and-white illustrations and will entertain all who have outgrown the originals. Pray for sequels. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June
Gr 3-5--Steve reads detective books, has a secret notebook, and has sent away for a detective license and handbook. He finds himself in the middle of a dangerous situation after he checks out a book about quilts from the library for a school report. Soon 12 librarians are chasing him with the order to shoot to wound. He discovers that librarians are part of an elite secret force that protects America's secrets. The quilt book is the link to all of America's secrets which are sewn into a quilt, and the librarians think Steve works for a dangerous man. Steve miraculously escapes from them and goes to the police who think he should be arrested for treason. Caught up in the middle of the mystery, he enlists the help of his best friend to search for clues. After a series of adventures, Steve returns to school to explain to his teacher why his report isn't done, and he realizes that she is an international criminal who set him up. Arte Johnson narrates, slightly changing voices for the different characters. His gravelly voice adds to the tongue-in-cheek humor of the mystery. This odd mix of improbable events and some humor might appeal to reluctant readers.--Teresa Wittmann, Westgate Elementary School, Edmonds, WA [Page 50]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2010 March
Gr 4-6--Aspiring detective Steve Brixton, 12, gets more than he bargained for when he becomes mixed up with crime-fighting and undercover operatives who are also--librarians! Steve, an avid reader, has been diligently studying The Bailey Brothers' Detective Handbook and has turned into quite a supersleuth. He is working on a social-studies project on early American needlework (definitely not his choice) at the library, and checks out An Illustrated History of American Quilting when a man holds a gun to his head. It seems that all books have coded information in their Library of Congress numbers for the Librarians, who are highly trained intelligence agents. This clandestine society of crime-fighters suspects Steve is working for the mysterious Mr. E., who sells America's secrets. They plan on charging him with treason if he does not come clean about his involvement with the villain and his knowledge about a missing historical quilt that has major information embroidered on it. Barnett's fast-moving plot is sure to hold readers' attention, and children will love Steve's ability to outsmart many of the adults in the story. Incorporating mistaken identities, kidnapping, and a secret underground society, this is a fun, humorous adventure.--Mairead McInnes, Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School, NY [Page 151]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.