Wednesday, April 30, 2014
The Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked and The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Platypus Police Squad takes place in the fictional city of Kalamazoo where rookie detective Rick Zengo has just been paired up with his new partner veteran Corey O'Malley. Zengo's grandfather was notorious on the force and he often wonders if he can live up to the family name. Their first case involves a school teacher who has gone missing with only a bag of illegal fish left behind. Signs seem to point to Frank Pandini Jr., but without hard evidence the detectives may have to look further. Krosoczka captures the elements that I would expect from a police story (stern Sergeant, raring to go rookie, veteran who offers up his sage advice and lays down the rules. Even some side kick detectives who bumble their way through the evidence.) Yet, he also adds some kid friendly pieces like boomerangs and a club that serves up root beer floats. The black and white illustrations add to the detective feel and I can certainly see the appeal of the book. The only thing that I was a little surprised about was that I was expecting a little more humor and perhaps some more action scenes, but I attribute this more to the author setting up the story and characters. My review copy was from the library.
Kalamazoo City is set to be the next site for celebrity Chase Mercy's action film, but when something mysteriously goes wrong at the grand opening of its newest amusement park, detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley must unravel the clues as to who is responsible. Their investigation pits the developers from a neighbor city against Frank Pandini Jr., who is trying to bring in Chase Mercy's movie. Who will ultimately be responsible? I really liked how the action picked up in The Ostrich Conspiracy, with all the added chase scenes and boomerang throws. Even the investigation took on a nice spin. Overall, the illustrations and humorous detectives made for a fun exciting read. My ARC was from Walden Pond Press as a part of a giveaway offered during Middle Grade March. The Ostrich Conspiracy will be released on May 6th 2014.
ETA: In his acknowledgments, Jarrett Krosoczka lists the detectives and the Northampton Police Department as being helpful in answering his research questions.