Just the Facts, Ma'am: Detective Blue by Steve Metzger
MY NAME IS BLUE--DETECTIVE BLUE.
YOU MIGHT KNOW ME AS LITTLE BOY BLUE.
AT ONE TIME I BLEW A HORN AND LOOKED AFTER COWS AND SHEEP.
THAT'S IN THE PAST.
Little Boy Blue is now Gumshoe Blue, a hard-boiled sleuth. It's another day in the city, and Detective Blue is already pounding the pavement on what may be an abduction case--the Dish has purportedly run away with Spoon. And no sooner has the collar been put on Dish when Blue is off on the trail of a perp on a stolen identity case, Mary's Lamb, a repeat offender, whom Detective Blue apprehends, disguised in toboggan cap and a student's misappropriated backpack, trying to sneak in--yet again--into the local grade school
"YOU CAN'T PULL THE WOOL OVER MY EYES," SAYS BLUE.
It's all in the daily grind for our gumshoe, until Jack Sprat raises a hue and cry!
"MISS MUFFET IS MISSING!"
"DON'T WORRY. DETECTIVE BLUE IS ON THE CASE," BLUE MUMBLES LACONICALLY.
Clues are few at the scene of the crime. Miss Muffett's usual haunts among the tuffets reveals a dropped bowl of curds and whey, which Blue examines ("YUCK"), and a spiderweb. Pretty skimpy physical evidence! Blue begins to interrogate the eyewitnesses at the scene.
"WE DIDN'T SEE A THING!" SAY THE THREE BLIND MICE.
Blue questions Humpty Dumpty, who does have a good vantage point on the scene from his wall. Dumty suggests that Miss Muffett often visits Jack Horner's Pie Shop down the way, but when Blue appreciatively slaps Dumpty on the back for his tip, he leaves his tipster all cracked up.
Horner hasn't seen the missing lass, but pudding-seller Georgie Porgie suggests he question King Cole down at the castle, where Blue picks up a hot clue from Spider.
"SHE WAS TIRED OF CURDS AND WHEY. I TOLD HER WHERE SHE COULD GET SOME DELICIOUS PORRIDGE!"
Blue knows right where to find plenty of porridge and arrives at the scene of an in-progress home invasion just in time to rescue the would-be porridge sampler Miss Muffet from some "beary" angry members of the family Ursidae, in Steve Metzger's newest, Detective Blue (Orchard Books, 2011). Award-winning artist Tedd Arnold's googly-eyed characters are just right for this tongue-in-cheek detective tale, and his cleverly-inserted background nursery rhyme spoofs will crack up readers, who can also use Metzger's appended "index" to sleuth out the allusions which humorously spice up the story throughout. Readers who are well grounded in their nursery rhymes and nursery tales will find this book a treasure trove of allusionary fun and grownups who are lucky enough to read this one aloud will "get" the hard-boiled humor even more.