Posts Tagged ‘Detective stories’

Detective Gordon: A complicated case

By Ulf Nilsson

ISBN 9781776570652

Gecko Press 2016


This is the second book about Detective Gordon and Buffy. They work together as police detectives solving mysteries and eating lots of cake. They are also best of friends and this shows through in the way they talk to each other and support each other. While the first book may have seen their introduction, this second book deals with their growing friendship and Buffy’s growing confidence to do the job she is assigned, often learning to trust her own judgement and take the initiative. It is lovely to see characters grow. Even through moments of fear both characters continue to be brave and remain true to each other and their jobs. It is a warm, honest story and a delight to read.

There is something not right in their forest and investigations lead them to many cases of bullying. It is up to Detective Gordon and Buffy to find out who is doing what and why, but no one is willing to talk. Buffy has her own little secret but as always, Detective Gordon is there to help and he does so without any judgement or criticism.  Newly independent readers will love this first chapter book.  Short chapters and beautiful illustrations make this ideal for children to gain confidence in their reading. The humour is quite delightful. Watch out for the ending and the smile on Buffy’s face.

Bullying happens in most schools and there are always two sides to a story and while this may seem a simple story to read (and it is), it is also a very worthwhile read-aloud for teachers to use in class. While bullying isn’t the overall theme, it is a chance to recognize it’s effects and for teachers to open up discussion with their students.

Teacher notes can be found here.


Detective Gordon : The first case

By Ulf Nilsson

Illustrated by Gitte Spee

ISBN 978192721506

Gecko Press


What an utterly charming book!

Detective Gordon is a rather over weight toad who loves nothing better than eating cakes, drinking tea and stamping important papers. However, he is suddenly faced with a mystery when squirrel comes rushing in to declare that someone has stolen his stash of nuts. He soon thinks he has the culprit but instead it turns out he has caught a rather lonely, hungry and nameless mouse whom he takes under his wing, makes her his assistant and bestows upon her a name. Together they stand in the freezing cold, watching and waiting for clues which could lead them to the real thieves. I love how Detective Gordon and his new assistant become friends, their relationship taking on as much importance as the theft of the nuts.

I can see why Ulf Nilsson is an award winning writer. His words flow naturally.

   “The squirrel started to cry. Tears rolled down his soft cheeks where they immediately froze to ice  Small pearls fell to the ground”

The illustrations are also gorgeous. Just look at the cover and the expressions on the faces of the two main characters.

This is a great chapter book for newly independent readers aged 7 – 9. I think it would be equally as wonderful as a read-aloud by parents or teachers.

I certainly hope that there are more books about Detective Gordon and Buffy his new side-kick. I would love to see what other mysteries they can solve.

Once again Gecko Press have produced a quality book.

Skulduggery Pleasant : The dying of the light
By Derek Landy
ISBN : 9780007489282

Well this is it! The final book in a wonderfully funny, yet scary series all about a detective who just happens to be over 400 years old and dead.
I was so fortunate to meet the author Derek Landy recently at an event here in Christchurch, New Zealand. He had the audience captivated from the get-go. His wonderful Irish accent and his contagious sense of humour had us laughing the whole hour he spoke. And then he signed books for another two hours. Everyone was made to feel special and he took time to actually chat with each fan. Readers of all ages lined up and waited so patiently. It was a brilliant night. Grab hold of the last book although if you are a fan you will have done that already. If you haven’t then now is the time to start.
While primary school students will enjoy the first few books it might get a bit darker towards the end but a fan is a fan no matter what age.
The final battle begins – but who will make it out alive?
The Skulduggery Pleasant website is a must to visit.

Landy & me
Author Derek Landy clowning around, and me.