The Recorder Racket
The Puzzling Pet Parade
Yellow Brick Books, 2022
64pp., pbk., RRP $A11.95
Penelope Delores McPem (aka PD McPem) and her puppy Scooter are staying with PD’s grandparents for the summer holidays which coinicides with her grandparents’ annual cleanup.
While cleaning up the garage with Grandpa, PD finds a box full of things from the olden days, including Grandpa’s old brown trilby hat, his trench coat and a magnifying glass – everything PD needs to start her own Detective’s Agency!
In the first episode of this new series for emerging young readers, PD’s most treasured treasure goes missing and she must use all of her new detecting skills to track down the culprit. Can she overcome a shoo-ing Granny, a double-crossing dog and a universe-chomping black hole to save her beloved recorder?
In the second, it’s West Bay Primary School’s annual Pet Parade and Miss Hartnett’s Year One class is excited to showcase their lovable companions. PD McPem is particularly keen to show off her clever canine assistant, Scooter. But the arrival of her new deskmate, Theodora Putkins, and her Rhinoceros Beetle Circus creates havoc when both Scooter and Mary the beetle are nowhere to be found! Can PD McPem’s agency for Mysterious Mysteries solve the puzzle of the missing pets before it’s too late?
With all the textual features needed to support those transitioning from instructional readers to more unstructured texts, this is a new series that will appeal to young girls who will see themselves as PD McPem and relate to the adventures she has, as well as being introduced to the mystery genre, perhaps prompting them to delve further into it, maybe even with classics such as The Famous Five and The Secret Seven giving them common talking points with their parents and grandparents and starting conversations about their favourites. Those who are traversing the “stepping stones” between reading materials love series because it means they can bring their prior knowledge of the characters and situations to the story so they can get stuck into the new adventure without having to figure out relationships and so forth, and so a new one to add to the mix is always fun.