Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Trouble! Right Here in Capital City! The Upper Case Trouble in Capital City by Tara Lazar

I was dozing in my chair when Question Mark barged into my office. He looked bent out of shape!

"What's the matter, Mark?" I asked.

Finally Mark spilled it out. "All the upper case letters are missing!"

Is this upper case minor theft, or is it a serious case of  capital crime this time?

Private I agrees to take the case, but there are a lot of witnesses and suspects to interview.
Hyphen was busy dashing all over town. Apostrophe was gathering his possessions and Comma was dividing her time on a huge list of things. Luckily, the Quotation Twins were willing to talk. "But don't quote us," they said.

Private I follows the paper trail, which leads him to the movie marquee--where the upper case letters seem to be stuck, completely out of alphabetical order.
"Exclamation is crooked! Lock him up!" the captive letters demanded.

But Exclamation complains that he's unfairly overworked these days, punctuating all those HA-HAs and OMGs.

The Grammar Police finally arrive and take Exclamation downtown to be booked.
According to the law, Exclamation would have to serve his sentence.

All is properly in order again in Capital City, again made safe for proper nouns, in Tara Lazar's capital case, her latest classic film noir detective story, The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City (Private I) (Hyperion, 2019). Author Lazar is well known for her way with wordplay, and this new alphabet tale for young readers, comically illustrated by Ross MacDonald, is a punny and funny sequel to her hilarious numerical gumshoe story, 7 Ate 9 (see review here).

Publishers Weekly salutes Letter-Lady Lazar, saying, "Lazar hits every marker of a traditional detective story, and MacDonald's illustrations place readers on the scene of a Technicolor retro gumshoe drama."

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