Howard Wallace, P.I. by Casey Lyall
Summary: Twelve-year-old Howard Wallace lives by his list of rules of private investigation. He knows more than anyone how to work with what he’s got: a bathrobe for a trench coat, a makeshift office behind the school equipment shed, and not much else—least of all, friends. So when a hot case of blackmail lands on his desk, he’s ready to take it on himself . . . until the new kid, Ivy Mason, convinces him to take her on as a junior partner. As they banter through stakeouts and narrow down their list of suspects, Howard starts to wonder if having Ivy as a sidekick—and a friend—is such a bad thing after all.
This book was delight from start to finish! Lyall perfectly balances a compelling mystery, fantastic characters, and a spot-on narrative voice in the form of Howard’s hard-boiled twelve-year-old detective. I knew from the reviews that this book would be funny and that I would fall in love with the characters; what I didn’t expect was how heartfelt it would also be, as it confronts head-on the issue of friendships changing – sometimes painfully – in middle school, and the drastic measures some people will take to hold on to the past. I can’t wait to start putting this book into the hands of every kid I meet!
HOWARD WALLACE, P.I. is out now.