Just what kind of monkey business has befallen Mr. Hound's shop? Luckily, our team of plucky detectives has been chomping at the bit to take on their first case. When Mr. Hound hires them to investigate, they hoof it to his shop. And once they get sleuthing, wild horses couldn't drag them away from the scent of a clue. But is it all just a dog and pony show to distract them from the truth? Idioms are everywhere in this hilarious first case of the Gumshoe Zoo detective agency as they attempt to solve Mr. Hound's mystery. Early readers will love the multi-paneled comic book hybrid feel of this raucous adventure as the detectives manage to keep a straight face, collar some suspects, and solve a mystery, all while avoiding beating a dead—never mind. Plus, this is the fixed format version, which will look almost identical to the print version. Additionally for devices that support audio, this ebook includes a read-along setting.
Nichols (Matthew Meets the Man) goes hog wild in a goofball detective story bursting with animal-themed idioms. When the window to Mr. Hound's shop is broken, he calls in the Gumshoe Zoo Detective Agency to investigate. Quentin, a goat, contacts his colleagues (Steve the monkey is in a barrel when the call comes in, while Mike the bull is in a china shop), and they head to the crime scene. "There is some definite monkey business at hand," says Reggie the fish before apologizing to Steve on the next page. "No sweat," replies the monkey. "And I agree. I smell a rat." Josie (a rat) isn't offended either, and a very funny chain of comments and apologies continues. The wrap-up isn't 100% logical (the detectives realize that Mr. Hound broke his own window "and called us so you could get it fixed for free"), but that's easily written off as criminal incompetence rather than a narrative problem. It's a highly entertaining comic mystery, and the closing pages both explain the many idioms referenced and tease a potential sequel if we're lucky. Ages 5 8.