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Finally, Something Mysterious

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  31 reviews
The best mysteries can only be solved with your best friends. The perfect summer read for fans of Stuart Gibbs.

Paul Marconi has always thought that Bellwood was a strange town, but also a bit of a boring one. Not much for an 11 year old to do. Fires are burning nearby, Paul's parents are obsessed with winning a bratwurst contest, his best friend, one of the founding member
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 14th 2020 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2020)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Finally, Something Mysterious by Doug Cornett, 244 pages. Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), 2020. $17.

Language: G (1 swear); Mature Content G; Violence: G



Fifth graders, Paul Marconi and his two friends call themselves the One and Onlys, because they have no siblings. Even though the town of Bellwood is already strange, things only get stranger when a load of rubber ducks end up on a neighbor’s lawn, a former babysitter sneaks off into the
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the author for sending an ARC of this book to #bookportage for review.

In the small town of Bellwood, everybody knows what's going on...until they don't. One morning, the town awakes to find Mr. Babbage's lawn covered in rubber duckies, and no clue as to how they got there. Paul and his friends, Shanks and Peephole, are determined to make it to the bottom of the mystery, but there are many possible suspects they need to rule out. Could it be the disgruntled next door neighbor, Mr. Po
Karah Sutton
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a funny, clever mystery! The story follows Paul and his best friends as they try to uncover the culprit who left an enormous pile of rubber duckies in the backyard of someone in their small town. Like my favorite mysteries, this one has a giant cast of characters, each with unique quirks, and the story portrays them with a huge dose of empathy and thoughtfulness amidst all the jokes. The clues get more bizarre (a fish in a tree?), to the point where it seems impossible that the sto ...more
I picked up an ARC of this middle-grade novel at the Public Library Association conference a few weeks ago. I was hoping to find something my niece would like. She’s nine, and I’ve found that so many books aimed at middle schoolers deal with content that’s too mature for her—going through puberty and crushes, or the death of a parent or someone close to you. This was a refreshing discovery, as it seems perfectly aimed at readers who have outgrown the early chapter books, but is still appropriate ...more
This might be a good choice for a summer read since this novel features three fifth graders who are good friends and members of the One and Onlys due to their status as only children in their families. Paul Marconi and his friends, Shanks and Peephole--those are their nicknames--love to meet in secret in their special place and just hang out. There isn't a lot to do in their town, but Bellwood does have its charms and oddities, in particular, its annual bratwurst festival in which several citize ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Your eyes don’t deceive you - those really are rubber duckies...a lot of rubber duckies...a mysterious amount of rubber duckies! But don’t worry, the One and Onlys are on the case! FINALLY, SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS (releasing 4/14/20) by Doug Cornett is a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced, puzzling tale that had me speculating (and chuckling) until the very end! Doug Cornett wastes no time presenting the peculiar scene in Mr. Babbage’s backyard in the first chapter with the humorous and outgoing Paul Marco ...more
Stephanie Tournas
During the summer before sixth grade, Paul Marconi wishes for something interesting to happen. When a giant pile of rubber duckies appears in a neighbor's yard over night, Paul and his buddies Shanks and Peephole are delighted to have something to investigate. The three friends call themselves The One and Onlys, and are sure that they are the only ones who can solve the mystery. Various people in the town of Bellwood come under suspicion, including the mostly inept police officer Portnoy. Reader ...more
Kate Waggoner
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read

Thank you to @randomhousekids for sharing an advance copy of Finally, Something Mysterious by @dougcornettwrites with the #Kidlitexchange network. This book was released in April 2020. All opinions are my own.

Paul Marconi and his friends, Shanks and Peephole, call themselves the One and Onlys since they're all only children. The three friends are always on the hunt for a good mystery to solve. Most of their cases so far, like the mystery of the missing remote, haven't been all th
A pitch recommending the book to fans of Stuart Gibbs
A very intriguing cover
A mystery to solve

It all happened so fast I hardly remember the purchase. But there it was, in my hands: the newly released debut novel by Doug Cornett: Finally, Something Mysterious.

The action all takes place in Bellwood, a small community with a big mystery: how did a lawn full of rubber duckies mysteriously appear overnight in the backyard of a fellow Bellwoodian? Was it sabotage? The widely anticipated Bratwurst Bon
Elliot Weir
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adventure, suspense, and question. When reading, I ask myself; what clue will pop up next, who/what will come in the way next, and who is or isn't a suspect? All those questions get answered in Doug Cornett’s “Finally Something Mysterious”.
Paul has always loved solving mysteries with his two best friends so when a yard full of rubber duckies appears out of nowhere, they are right on the case. With lots coming up, Paul’s summer that was supposed to be a boring summer with hardly anything going
Keshia Mayrhofer
@kidlitexchange #partner Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network, publisher @randomhousekids, and author @dougcornettwrites for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own! The One and Onlys love solving a mystery, but in Bellwood there are not many satisfying cases to work on. Until the day Mr. Babbage woke up to find his lawn covered in rubber ducks. Paul, Shanks, and Peephole finally have a real mystery to try to solve! Who put the ducks in the yard and why? The One and Onlys begin t ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light and charming mystery in the Carl Hiaasen/Kate DiCamillo style.
A trio of smalltown middle school detectives take on a local mystery and through tenacity and imagination, (spoiler alert) solves the mystery! Like a more wholesome and much less dark “Stranger Things,” “Finally, Something Mysterious” is a fun read populated by kooky and eccentric characters in a quirky but loveable small town. The writing is fresh and effervescent, with original turns of phrase that I loved, such as somethi
LS Johnson
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this book!! It made me smile and cheer. These seemed like real 5th graders who were friends and trying to have summer fun in a small town. I imagine a lot of kids would want to solve a mystery about how all those rubber duckies ended up on the neighbors lawn. There was great kid detective work, enough mystery to keep me engaged, displays of genuine friendships, close families, and a nice depiction of small town life. I really enjoyed this b ...more
Allison Parker
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, juvenile
When a hundred yellow duckies appear on Mr. Babbage’s lawn, everyone in the small town Bellwood is baffled by the mystery. Lucky Bellwood is home to the One and Onlys, a group of kid detectives and best friends, who jump at the chance to solve something mysterious. Surely this has something to do with the upcoming Bellwood Bratwurst Bonanza - Mr. Babbage is the reigning champ 4 years in a row, and plenty of other people have their eyes on the prize. But who had the means to pull off this dastard ...more
Giselle Smith
This is the author's first book and I would think it may be the first of many. This read has mystery (of course), friends and family, inevitable changes, and a small town feel.

Paul, Shank, and Peephole are three great friends who call themselves The One and Only's and of course they have a hideout. They are on summer break and they are junior detectives off on the hunt for a mystery to solve. Along the way there are some hilarious things that happen to the three of them along with townspeople th
Arianne Costner
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS. BOOK. I am seriously so impressed!! It’s a very smart mystery about mysteriously appearing rubber duckies, a fish in a tree, and a bratwurst bonanza.

Everything about this book was kooky, quirky, hilarious, and had me laughing out loud. It ended with a feel-good message about embracing change. The mystery was one of the cleverest I have ever read. I was totally guessing until the very end and was shocked by all the little details that came together that I didn’t even notice. SERIOUSLY SO G
Shan Salter
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

By Doug Cornett

This middle-grade mystery is a fast-paced and fun read about a boy named Paul and his mystery-loving friends (with great nicknames) and a whole lot of rubber ducks.

The characters are memorable and the town is quaint and well described, including an illustrated map.

Perfect for puzzles solvers. An enjoyable read!

@kidlitexchange #bookstagram #kidlitexchange #k
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun middle grade mystery. Loved the solution to the case. The series of events that put the duckies into the yard was clever. I enjoyed the interplay between the kids and local law enforcement. There's enough non-mystery content to round the story out nicely without making the reader wonder where the mystery went - the balance is good. If this becomes a series, I would keep reading these. Loved the kids in this. ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
A zany cast of characters with some equally unusual story elements: rubber duckies, a scooter-riding tuba player and a Bratwurst Bonanza! Of course the kids solve the mystery...eventually. After targeting all the wrong suspects for all the wrong reasons, the clues come together. Showcases great friendships and solid, supportive family relationships as well.
Stewart Hoffman
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, Something Mysterious is a quick, light, well-constructed read for adults and a clever, mysterious detective story for younger readers. For me personally, the story didn’t hide its mysteries all that well, but the character and plot work is so solid that I didn’t mind. I recommended Finally, Something Mysterious for middle-grade readers on up!
Middle grade readers will enjoy this humorous mystery. The junior detectives are working hard to solve the mystery of the rubber ducks in Bellwood!

NOTE: I received an ARC of Finally, Something Mysterious at OLA Superconference and the book celebrated its launch yesterday.
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful! The author really captures the silliness that can exist in small towns and the hilarious language of children. The mystery was well paced and the reveals all made sense but weren't predictable.

Still laughing about Shanks being called Chunk 🤣 Made me wish I could attend the Triple B to sample the winning dish!
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midwinter-2020
3.5 stars for this multi-layered mystery

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, middle-grade
I really enjoyed this book. Just what I need to read at the moment.
A mystery with twists and turns and laugh out loud moments!
Brooke W
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A truly mysterious debut novel. It was hilarious and sweet. Everything unraveled perfectly at the end. It was well written and the plot was delightful! This was such a fun read.
Jan 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Laughed a lot while reading this warm-hearted book about three fifth graders solving mysteries. Rubber duckies, bratwurst and friends' secret hideout--a fun summertime read. ...more
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a great book!
Kasey Giard
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can probably guess from the title that FINALLY, SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS is going to be a funny book, and you’re right! These three friends won’t back down in the face of weird alibis, scary teachers, or midnight tuba solos. I had so much fun reading this book. I loved the friendship between Paul and the One and Onlys. His small town is packed with quirky people sharing interesting connections.

I love that the mystery they’re solving involves loads of rubber ducks. It’s random and strange and a g
I would like this to be a series, because I think there is great potential for a mystery series. What I like about the mystery is how all the different clues merged together. The fire seemed a little out of place to me in the grand schemes, but it also played a role in the mystery. My question is did the rubber ducks come first when the author was creating the story and the author built his story around the ducks? That is my feeling, because the fire was tied to the mystery.

Verdict: I enjoyed t
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