Gr 5-7-- This fictional narrative is filled with projects, activities, and tasks intended to hone one's sleuthing skills. Ellen "Pink" Pinkerton and her friends Sherman Homes and Mike Hu are middle school detectives who, along with her dog, Sam Spayed, are quick to take on the mystery of a missing high school student. Each character, in turn, speaks directly to the audience. As they attempt to solve the case, readers are given helpful clues. Tips and trivia appear in faint writing in sidebars and amid cartoon illustrations. Along the way, evidence is collected and forensic activities are suggested. Kids can learn how to dust for fingerprints, collect trace evidence, read invisible messages, etc. While this crime solving is serious business, the language is filled with humor. "The doorbell rang. It couldn't be the mail--the postman always rings twice." In the end, the young detectives solve the mystery, with all loose ends tied up. Pair this with Milton Meltzer's true-to-life Case Closed: The Real Scoop on Detective Work (Scholastic, 2001). The Master Detective Handbook is a perfect tool for getting the whole classroom involved in the science of crime investigation.--Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI[Page 162]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.