In three weeks time, Imogen Stewart will turn eleven, an impressive age by any measure. She’ll be taller, cleverer, and probably quite sensible, but what she won’t be is a detective. Those days are behind her, her last solved mystery having taken place when she was nine. All she has to remind her are the newspaper clippings that detail her rescue of an imperilled penguin named Einstein. In The Case of the Fishy Detective by Iona Rangeley, we discover that Imogen’s detective days are far from over, as the charismatic Einstein waddles back into her life on a trail of herrings and havoc.
It all begins that very weekend, when Imogen and her brother, Arthur, are reminiscing about Einstein and how they’d saved him from the clutches of Mr Bill Hunter, an unscrupulous rogue with furious eyebrows. Unfortunately for them, their father is listening as they recall how they’d tied Bill Hunter up with masking tape and wedged a bucket on his head. Scandalised by this uncouth behaviour, he drives the children to Bill’s city office to hand-deliver a belated letter of apology.
Here it appears that their former nemesis has undergone an epiphany, as these days, his true passion lies in filming animals for adverts. In fact, he’s currently looking for some animals to star in a fish finger advert. Perhaps they could loan Einstein from his adopted home of Sydney Zoo? He could stay with Imogen’s family. Arthur is distrustful but Imogen is euphoric at the idea. Time to stock up on Einstein’s favourite anchovy ice cream!
This is such a fun read, filled with hijinks and excellent detective work. Arthur’s instincts turn out, of course, to be right, and the children are launched into a London kidnap adventure that features an excellent cameo appearance from the National Gallery, and another starring role for Einstein, all complemented with fabulously expressive illustrations by David Tazzyman.
Ideal for a reading age of 7 or keen early readers.
The Case of the Fishy Detective by Iona Rangeley is published by Harper Collins, 240 pages.