Review Blog

Sep 28 2015

Kizmet and the Case of the Tassie Tiger by Frank Woodley

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Puffin Books, 2015. ISBN 9780143308546
(Age: Yr 2-4) "The creature's breathing was wet and crackly as it crept through the dark. The goat was standing very still. Actually, it was asleep. The creature's black shape leapt across the face of the full moon, crashing into the goat and digging its teeth into the victim's woolly shoulder. The force sent them both tumbling and bouncing down the grassy hill, splashing into the dam below. The shock of the cold water confused the predator and its jaws slackened, releasing its prey. A hoof kicked frantically, leading a painful blow on the monster's nose. The desperate goat, struggling to escape, became bogged in the sticky mud at the edge of the dam. The terrible creature rose onto its hind legs, its fangs dripping with spit."
So begins a new adventure and a new series for younger readers featuring Kizmet Papanicillo, her father Detective Spencer and Gretchen, a feisty currawong and the narrator of the story. Having just returned from solving a mystery in Scotland, they are immediately off to Tasmania where a mysterious creature is attacking and killing livestock. Could it be a Tasmanian Tiger, long thought to be extinct but rumoured to still exist in parts of the southern wilderness? Naturally, the team from IMPACT - International Mysteries, Puzzles and Crimes Taskforce - are called in but it is soon clear that even though her dad is officially the detective, it is Kizmet who is the chief crime-solver. From the moment he crash tackles a "Tasmanian Tiger", a dressed-up model promoting a soft drink, her dad proves to be more of a hindrance than a help. Working with an array of interesting characters including the lisping Dr Cecil Simpson, Kizmet needs to solve this mystery and her quick thinking and clever deductions expose the truth. Tasmania is not to become a tourist destination for those looking for this mysterious creature after all.
Younger readers who like a good meaty mystery with well-drawn characters and just the right amount of suspense will be drawn to this new series written by well-known comedian Frank Woodley. The prologue written in white text on a dark page sets the tone and the short chapters, quirky illustrations that break up the text, fast pace and humour will appeal to both boys and girls in the Year 2-4 audience and they will enjoy pitting their wits alongside Kizmet trying to solve the clues before she does. Finishing as it began with Kizmet already packing for the next case, Kizmet and the Case of the Smashed Violin is also now available.
Barbara Braxton

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