Thursday, August 13, 2015

SERIES THURSDAY: Platypus Police Squad by Jarrett J. Krosoczka


From the Files of the Platypus Police Squad

Case #1138 Detectives of record: Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley

Case brief: A local schoolteacher is missing, and the only thing fishier than the circumstances surrounding his disappearance is the smell coming from the bag he left behind. All clues point to billionaire businessman Frank Pandini Jr.--but why would Pandini get his paws into the illegal fish trade?


Who but the creator of the Lunch Lady series could come up with a noir crime series staring platypuses.  I wasn't entirely sure going in how much I would like this series, but I ended up quite liking it.  This feels so much like one of those crime tv shows except appropriate for kids.  You have the rookie who is full of confidence and enthusiasm but tends to be impulsive and reckless.  There is also the older mentor who is gruff and sloppy but has the experience to be a good cop.  And of course there is the mystery underlying the main plot that goes beyond the one book.  Zengo (the rookie) strongly dislikes Frank Pandini Jr. despite the panda's reputation for doing good things for Kalamazoo City, it goes back to the days when Zengo's grandfather took down Pandini's father as the source of much of the mob activity going on in the city.  Unfortunately, Zengo's grandfather was murdered on orders from Pandini Sr. from prison.  So Zengo is more than ready to blame Pandini for the illegal fish scheme, but Mallory tries to reign in his overzealous partner and get him to focus on the evidence. Who is right? And can the two very different partners learn to work together in time to solve the case.  For young readers who enjoy mysteries and don't mind the use of animals as the main characters this is bound to be a fun series.


Jarrett J. Krosoczka is back with The Ostrich Conspiracy, the second installment in a fast-paced, action-packed, and hilarious middle-grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Lunch Lady.

The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome--the world's largest indoor amusement complex--has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it's going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy's new blockbuster film. But that's when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O'Malley are on the case!


Zengo, a platypus police detective, has several months on the job under his belt, but still gets called rookie by his coworkers.  But at least he and his partner, O'Malley, are getting along better.  Which is a good thing when they get sent to figure out what went wrong with the opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome, the new amusement park.  It seems clear that sabotogue occurred but who and why are much less clear.  Krosaczka has created another fun mystery starring his platypus detectives. Another winner for fans of the first book and the Lunch Lady series.


From Jarrett J. Krosoczka comes Last Panda Standing, the third installment in the hilarious, high-action illustrated middle grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Jarrett's own Lunch Lady series.

The Kalamazoo City mayoral race is heating up, and Frank Pandini Jr. has been threatened by a mysterious assailant. He requests a special Platypus Police Squad protection detail: Detective Rick Zengo. This leaves O'Malley to be partnered up with Jo Cooper, the newest detective on the force. Can Zengo get to the bottom of the attacks—without O'Malley backing him up?


In Last Panda Standing,  things take an interesting turn when Detective Rick Zengo is assigned to protect Pandini from an attacker as he runs for mayor.  Zengo's doubts about Pandini's honesty start to waver a bit with Pandini's campaign promises.  Not that he trusts the panda entirely, after all Pandini's father did order his grandfather's death.  While Zengo works with Pandini, his partner O'Malley teams up with a new detective to hunt down the culprit.  I didn't really expect this series to take the turn that it does in this book and while it makes for a more interesting series and creates more tension, I found it a bit irritating.  The reason for that I can't say without spoiling the shocker at the end.  But I am definitely cheering for the Platypus Police Squad to up the ante and take down the villains in future books.

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