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The Homemade Stuffing Caper (Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire #1)

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Encyclopedia Brown, watch out! Charlie Collier can match you mystery for mystery!

Seventh grader Charlie Collier has always been able to solve brain teasers in no time at all. And his favorite books have always been mysteries. So when Charlie dons his father's old trench coat--the one his mother thought she brought to Goodwill--and a fedora that should have suffered the sa
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 10th 2012 by Philomel
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Community Reviews

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Diane
"This was an untapped market. There were people in need. Damsels in distress. Paying customers. How could I refuse? Someone had to come to their aid. Why not me?"

Charlie Collier is a Jr. sleuth who models himself after his fictional hero, Sam Soloman. He runs a makeshift detective agency out of his garage with the help of his best friend, Henry. It's all pretty run-of-the-mill middle school "crime" that requires a high level of deductive reasoning. But Charlie longs to get a "taste of the big sc
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Kristy
**Read as part of the Chicago Public Schools 2014 Battle of the Books.**

Definitely a cute read. It's not a work of literary genius, but I loved the nods to classic mystery fiction. My favorite part is Charlie's discussion of his weight: he doesn't hate himself, but there definitely is a note of vulnerability, and it comes up later on in the story. As a librarian who values diversity in all its forms, I thought it was a Good Thing that my Battlers are reading about a character who wants people up
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Ms. Yingling
Charlie is a huge fan of fictional detective Sam Solomon, and prizes his collection of dusty novels about his cases. He tries to emulate him by setting up a detective business in his garage with his friend Henry, and advertises himself as a "snoop for hire" . When birds around his neighborhood start to go missing, a classmate contacts him, but things quickly get much bigger than that. It turns out that Charlie's grandmother was a cryptologist for the government during WWII, and she lets him in o ...more
Barbara
Twelve-year-old Charlie Collier has excellent deductive reasoning skills, allowing him to easily solve many puzzles and word problems. Although his parents have forbidden him to run his own ad hoc detective agency with his friend Henry, he still manages to do so. Still, he longs for more challenging cases than those brought to him by his classmates. When his odd grandmother reveals her secret past and introduces him to an actual detective, Eugene, who wants to train him, he is thrilled and quick ...more
Roger Smitter
I haven’t read a book like this in, well, a lot of years. The last time was when I could devour 2-3 books a week from my elementary school library.

Charlie Collier took me back to what it’s like to be an 8th grade boy with a burning ambition to emulate a character in a book who was doing the stuff I wanted to do – solve mysteries.

Along with Charlie, you experience what it’s like to encounter new things: first feelings about romance, finding a mentor, seeing your peers in a new way. The book sho
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babyhippoface
Kids who are into mysteries may like this one. It has some standard brainteasers (none were new to me, but I'm not twelve), bits of humor, a decent mystery, and a few moments of genuine "they could be in danger" tension (which is much more than I can say for either of John Grisham's first two incredibly benign Theodore Boone mysteries for kids).

Charlie, Henry, and Scarlett are all pretty likeable and realistic, with the exception of Charlie's refusal to use the internet or cell phone to help sol
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Yoo Kyung Sung
A fat kid with confidence and explore's mindset. It is long time no reading of an engaging a boy detective mystery story lately. In this book, it is pretty powerful to see that a book can be textual mentor to a young boy and a literary character inspires for young life interests and his readership. Charlie is a big fan of the Sam Solomon detective novel that set in 1930's Chicago and Sam Solomon is a bible to Charlie. The fact grandmother's secret agent like role creates a unique grandson and gr ...more
Stefanie
As a former student of the author, I am a bit biased in this book's favor. I am even more biased because my 13-year-old son, who is closer to the target audience, loved this book. The pacing was good, the puzzles are of the variety I want my kids to ponder and solve, and the attention to detail was terrific. This isn't just a book about a kid detective, it's one overlaying another book series (i.e., Sam Solomon's) and drawing from the plots and lessons of those mythical books. Well done!
Samantha
Charlie Collier's dream is to be a private detective. Sadly, most states won't license a seventh grader. That doesn't keep Charlie and his best friend Henry from solving school yard mysteries for a small fee. When his classmate Scarlet asks for help in finding a missing parrot, Charlie may just be in over his head. The novel is filled with references to Charlie's favorite fictional super sleuth Sam Solomon, brain teasers, and oddball characters. Students who enjoy detective mysteries or brain te ...more
Jehnie
A great series if you have kids who like brain teasers and riddles.
Serina
The Amazing Adventures of John Smith by Johnson, Peter excellent book teenagers will relate to and enjoy. down to earth and lil different to hold attention. little bit about bully but well done and not unreasonable how he and his friends deal with it. average for me personally but i think teens would really enjoy it. plus it a fast read. FYI the book spefically says that if they had bad lang or sex it wouldn't sell so he WASNT going to put any in. also the bad lang is the word "goofball" gasp... ...more
Denise
I didn't even finish it. I thought this would be similar to The Puzzling World of Winston Breen (which is great), but this completely fell short to me. The puzzles aren't challenging at all, they're just kind of riddles. The character isn't very interesting and the narration just doesn't fit the age of the character - too many weird little sayings that only grown-ups would say. And the plot is too obvious. It couldn't keep my attention.
Bruce
Jun 19, 2013 Bruce added it
Fine young adult novel by WONC Director of Broadcasting-turned-author. Set of quirky characters is redolent of Carl Hiaasen (but without the placedness of Hiaasen's south Florida). Charlie's prowess with word puzzles augurs well for his LSAT or GRE score. The character of Scarlett is not quite believable (a social butterfly-hottie who spends her time at her grandfather's barber shop?), but maybe she gets rounded out in the ensuing books.
Amy
This amazing kids detective novel gives homage to great detective novels in the style of Sam Spade, Phillip Marlowe and maybe even Sherlock Holmes. If kids like mysteries they will love Charlie Collier, his side kick Henry, the damsel in distress Scarlett and especially Charlie's Grandma. My kids pondered, giggled and wondered all the way through it. Great jokes and good mystery. Glad I read it to them.
Jennifer
Meh! Not Winston Breen. Not Encyclopedia Brown. This latest spin on pre-teen detective work left me bored. I love deductive reasoning and mysteries for all ages but this new series felt cliché. It's target audience will likely miss the gumshoe references and find it unbelievable that any 7th grader rejects modern technology with such vehemence as the main character.
Jennifer
A chunky, very deductive, young middle schooler solves mysteries for his classmates much to his parents chagrin. The main character is likable and reads true although a bit young for his age. Good for mystery/detective fans who wants something not too scary. 2-5th grade.
Linda
First in a series featuring middle-school kids who solve local mysteries. For those old enough to remember, there is a bit of Dragnet tone. The main character is adept at solving brain teasers for a fun aside.
Tracie
Charlie Collier, seventh-grade detective, and his best friend Henry, use episodes of Charlie's favorite mystery series to help solve the mysterious disappearance of exotic and wild birds all over town.
Felicia Lemmon
It was a very good mystery because it was a kids mystery and they were solving real cases. The characters were well thought out and interesting.
Daniel
Wonder if Sam Solomon is really a series...
PWRL
Mar 21, 2013 PWRL marked it as to-read
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John Madormo, Chicago area screenwriter, author, and college professor, signed a contract with Penguin Books for Young Readers for a series of middle-grade mystery novels. The series, entitled Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire, is a tale about a 12-year-old private detective who sets up shop in his parents’ garage and solves cases for fellow sixth-grade classmates.

The first installment , The Homema
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More about John V. Madormo...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire (3 books)
  • The Camp Phoenix Caper (Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire, #2)
  • The Copycat Caper (Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire, #3)
The Camp Phoenix Caper (Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire, #2) The Copycat Caper (Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire, #3) The Homemade Stuffing Caper: Book 1 (Charlie Collier,Snoop for Hire) The Camp Phoenix Caper: Book 2 (Charlie Collier,Snoop for Hire) The UC Copycat Caper: Book 3

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