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Super Detectives
Simon and Chester Book #1
by Cale Atkinson
Tundra Books, $12.99, 64pp
Published: February 2021

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Chester is an average boy whose best friend just happens to be a ghost named Simon. Readers may recognize this pair from Cale Atkinson's 2018 picture book, ‘Sir Simon: Super Scarer,’ which establishes the origins of their friendship: Simon, a professional ghost, is transferred to Chester and his grandmother's house but gives up this haunting gig in favor of simply becoming Chester's pal.

In this first graphic novel for them, Chester is bored one rainy day and looking for something fun to do. He convinces Simon to join him digging around in the attic for costumes to play with. Personally Simon would rather be writing his mystery novel but humors Chester in his endeavour.

It's elementary to deduce what they will be doing after they discover a deerstalker hat, but first they must find a case to solve. Cue one adorable stray pug, unanswered questions and a houseful of clues. Now the game is afoot!

Simon goes to extreme measures to figure out these clues, even connecting them with yarn on an elaborate bulletin board, while Chester takes a more straightforward approach: checking to see if the pug has a collar and canvasing the neighborhood. Their different styles of reasoning may test the limits of their friendship. Further clues to the mystery are sprinkled throughout the story for our benefit.

I loved the art in this book, done in graphic novel style panels. The story was fun and enjoyable. I like that Cale Atkinson was responsible for both. This is one book I'll happily pick up in print for my grandchildren. ~~ Dee Astell

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