Catsup High Detective Agency

Ace detective Malarkey dips his claw into ink and writes out an advertisement for an assistant. The cats of Catsup have been vanishing and he’s going to need some help… help with special powers. The last thing he expects is a kitten. At first, Malarkey is sceptical, but young Sparkie with his new-found electrical abilities proves he is more than up to the challenge. Off they fly, looking for clues and gathering information. But can they catch the catnappers before more cats disappear? Will they find the notorious Mr Big before falling victim to his wiles themselves?
 
Written with both a sense of mystery and fun, this is a great book to read aloud together or for newly competent readers to enjoy alone. Ryan takes a familiar form, the detective story, and pumps it with surprises and humour. The characterisation is hilarious. Malarkey is a wonderful, tongue-in-cheek hero. Sparkie is wise for his age and energetic, with a strong sense of irony. The pace moves along quickly, pulling the reader from one chapter to the next effortlessly, keeping them guessing as to what will happen next. The language is somewhat complex at times, and the plot sophisticated with plenty of material for adults to keep them amused as well as expanding the reading skills of children. There is a great teaser in the end that alludes to the next mystery in which our heroes will become embroiled that leaves the reader wanting more.
 
Thoroughly enjoyable.