Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator)

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Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator)

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A third book from this series, which again has old-fashioned charm, but little in the way of modern attack or particularly wide appeal.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: October 2017
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
ISBN: 9781782691594

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Last time I met with the retired Detective Nosegoode and his loyal and helpful dog Cody – the dog that can speak human language, what's more – there was a most intriguing case for the two to solve – that proceeded to go about in less than perfect ways. This third volume of the pair's adventures contains prequels – a selection of three shorter works that convey dramas from the latter stage of Nosegoode's career. So a museum curator is convinced the town's masterpiece landscape is due to be stolen, the chess club has a robber, and Nosegoode gets a tip-off from his mentor about a pickpocket being in town. It's almost too much for even a clever little old man and his clever little hound.

These once more are pleasantly conveyed dramas – just witness the quirky names invented for this translation, such as the painter being a certain Bonaventure Splotch – and you'll love the image late on of the same cowering body language shared by Nosegoode and Cody when for once they get things wrong. The large clear script makes the tales easily read, and the brevity of them won't prove taxing for the under-twelves the books are aimed at.

But once more I did wonder if these were the best Polish children's fiction had to offer. The first story is pleasant enough, although anyone with an aversion to the reader being withheld information for no real reason will bristle. The middle work was the least satisfactory – yes, the piecing of the clues to the ultimate conclusion is presented in very child-friendly Conan Doyle style, but Cody does nothing – not even utter a single word – and so it doesn't feel like it has to belong to this franchise. The third work may be the best here, even if that verdict may depend on how happy you are to guess the twist a page or two before the book gets around to telling us it.

What you do get is a levity, and whimsy, that still offers some charm. We're in a different town to the one in book one, which means there are at least two hotbeds of this kind of light-hearted criminal activity, where nobody need really fear being a victim of crime when men like Nosegoode are around. These are exceedingly U-Certificate detective stories, which may well be what you want. But I think these are a little too dated, and certainly bordering on the twee as a result, to recommend them to everyone.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

I was reminded by the first work here of Flat Stanley and his own recurring visits to art galleries to counter thieves – that's a book that hasn't dated nearly as much.

Buy Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator) at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator) at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Detective Nosegoode and the Museum Robbery (Detective Nosegood 3) by Marian Orlon, Jerzy Flisak and Eliza Marciniak (translator) at Amazon.com.

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