The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files: Saxby Smart, Private Detective: Book 1
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The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files: Saxby Smart, Private Detective: Book 1 (Saxby Smart, Private Detective)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Saxby Smart is no ordinary ten-year-old. He’s the best detective in the world, or at least the best one who also happens to be in elementary school.With the help of his Thinking Chair and his two best friends, Saxby proves that age makes no difference when it comes to saving the day. As Saxby solves three of his most puzzling cases, the reader solves the mystery alongside...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by Square Fish (first published April 14th 2009)
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Sep 01, 2012 Brenda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Kid detectives
Shelves: fiction
10 year-old Saxby Smart, who's dad named him after five famous crime novelists ( Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan) is destined to be a detective himself. With a backyard garden shed and his "thinking chair," cause everyone needs one of those, he sets out to solve three crimes in this first installment. I like how the author separated each of these stories into Case files and Saxby utilized notebooks with the facts and questions he has about each of the cases. The author encourages children to...more
This was a clever little set of three mystery stories for the early-mid elementary school audience. It strongly reminded me of the Encyclopedia Brown stories, but Cheshire takes it a step further by directly addressing the reader a few times in each story, asking him or her to try and figure out why the main character has made a deductive leap. Great for encouraging critical thinking at an early age.
Three short mysteries from the case files of Saxby Smart, child detective. Saxby grew up on detective stories and now solves neighborhood mysteries for his friends.

I love the quirky charm of this series. Saxby operates his sleuthing activities out of a garden shed "office" and ponders cases in a special "thinking chair". But what's really fabulous about these mysteries is the level of reader engagement expected. All the information required to solve the mystery is supplied to the reader in the s...more
Marguarite Markley
Saxby Smart is a child detective who solves cases for friends. I love that his office is nothing more than a garden shed. It made a great summer read-aloud for a group of 9-12 years olds that met weekly at the library. What is so much fun is following along and seeing if you can figure out the mystery too. Each chapter ends with Saxby's notes, which makes it great for reading aloud because the next time you meet with the group you're reading to, you have a synopsis of the previous chapter alread...more
This was fun--readers can solve the mystery as they go, based on clues Saxby discovers through observation and discussion with other characters. Readers get to see his notes, with questions and ideas, and Saxby pauses to see if they have figured stuff out. There are steps along the way, not just one solution at the end. There was one longer story and two shorter ones in this first book in the series.

Great for readers looking for titles after the A to Z's, Jigsaw Jones, Field Trip mysteries, etc.
I thing this book is great for 3rd or 4th grade mystery readers. I like that it is broken into three smaller mysteries. I like the illustrations and the fact that the mysteries give pause and reviews throughout to let readers try to figure out some clues. Saxby Smart, child Private Detective, gathers clues, lists them and asks his readers questions along the way. With so many illustrations, I don't think this would make a good read-aloud, but it would be a great share read or independent read.
Charlyn  Trussell
Feb 01, 2010 Charlyn Trussell rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Gr. 3 and up
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Saxby, working out of a shed in his back yard, is well-known for his investigative abilities. By using his attention to details, Saxby solves several mysteries in this book and asks the reader to try to solve them along with him. All the required information is supplied to the reader who may be able to solve each mystery, too. For those who've read Encyclopedia Brown, Saxby is of the same ilk, but the mysteries are fewer and easier for readers to solve.
Saxby Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan Smart was named after all of his dad's favorite crime writers, which is okay with Saxby since he's read all of his dad's crime novels and learned well from them. He is his neighborhood and school's private detective, and he always solves the case. He takes us through three of them in this book, and they're both fun and challenging. An excellent choice for young detectives looking to stretch their skills.
YES for our library.

What an excellent collection of detective stories! Great addition for readers in grades 2-4. Reminiscent of Encyclopedia Brown, Saxby Smart is a kid-detective with a knack for solving puzzling problems. Saxby, narrator of our story, makes sure to include the audience in his clue-finding and case-solving. Very enjoyable from start to finish.
Saxby Smart solves three cases in this short, easy to read book. They are more fleshed out than Encyclopedia Brown cases (and frankly may be more enjoyable and have better character development) and are for a bit younger audience, but they are similar. All clues necessary to solve the puzzle are in the text (but are not quite as elusive as Encyclopedia's.)
Solid detective stories and mysteries with a new sleuth named Saxby Smart. There are three stories in this book that vary from a cursed mask, someone wrecking kids' homework and a missing piece of jewelery. In each story Saxby gives the kids chances to work the clues out for themselves before continuing on with the story. Good for grades 3 to 4.
Amy Brown
Saxby Smart solves three mysteries in this book. This is a great book for 3rd/4th graders. Saxby solves mysteries for his friends. What's great about this book is that he also allows the reader to work on the mysteries by asking questions that lead kids to look at the clues again and see if they can figure it out.
Adam R.
[the comment below was written by my 8 year old brother- it was too cute to remove]

Wow out of this hardy boys movie mission and super station mountain this was amazing and it was only the first book who ever created this book is a genius
THIS BOOK IS THE BEST ONE YET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saxby Smart has grown up reading detective novels and now he is a young detective solving mysteries for his friends. The author Simon Cheshire invites the readers to see if they can solve the mysteries on their own.
A fun read for 3rd/4th graders who enjoy short mysteries that they can try to solve themselves. Book has three short mysteries and as Saxby comes to conclusions he pauses to see if you have the same thoughts.
Melanie Au
Definitely a good recommendation for readers who like Encyclopedia Brown, etc. Fairly well written. Illustrations, use of different fonts, interactive nature of the book will appeal to reluctant readers.
W.H. Beck
Saxby Smart is a grade-school detective with an office in the garden shed. As he solves puzzles around his neighborhood, readers get to play along and see if they spot the clues in the story.
Recommended Ages: grades 3 - 6

Saxby Smart must solve three mysteries - with you help. Great for kids who like short mysteries. Gives the reader a chance to guess the clues.
I love Saxby Smart. The writing is very clever and humorous. This is much like Encyclopedia Brown much much livelier. A fun read!
Great for young detective wanna-be's. I have to wonder, though, if his friend is such a good researcher, why isn't SHE the detective?
Great for 3rd/4th grade readers. It's like a more current Encyclopedia Brown where the reader gets to help figure out the mystery. Fun!
Detective story - young Saxby Smart solves three cases with the help of the reader - a quick and fun read.
Good starter mysteries for young kids - well written and suspenseful enough
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Mar 26, 2014
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