The annual Winchester Pickle Festival has been canceled. All the pickles and cucumbers in town have been stolen and everyone is sad, especially nine-year-old Libby and her younger brother Ben. When there doesn’t seem to be any hope left for holding the event, the children’s neighbor Deputy Pete, riding his horse Charcoal, comes home for a vacation. His dog Pepper is running along beside. The children ask the deputy to help solve the mystery and get the pickles back in time to save the celebration. Another boy, ten-year-old Jose Benitez, joins the sleuths as they interview people, investigate crime scenes, look for clues, and even set a trap for the thief. Deputy Pete and the Purloined Pickles Puzzle is an exciting mystery not to be missed.
Winchester, Texas is home to the handsome Deputy Pete, who patrols its streets with purpose and effectiveness. But he may have met his match over the mystery that unfolds in the middle grade Western read Deputy Pete and the Purloined Pickles Puzzle.
James J. Griffin's background in producing Western novels for all ages continues to prove a plus here, creating a story which nicely blends a mystery with a rural Texas environment.
Deputy Pete tackles a big problem that Sheriff Sam Slade has been unable to handle. Even more importantly, who would steal all the cucumbers and pickles in town? More than the perp and the deputy are in a pickle by the time the options are considered and the rationale behind pickle picking is presented.
Humor and fun blend with problem-solving approaches as the deputy puts on his thinking cowboy hat and rides out to confront pickle perp possibilities.
The dialogue between Pete, his parents, and others is often fun, offering plays on 'p' words that kids will relish: "But it is funny, son," his father commented, "you just keep on pondering over pilfered pickles." "Mr. Porter," said Pete's mother, "I'm trying to get our son to relax, and you're encouraging him to worry about pickles."
As the savvy deputy works with three young sleuths, Libby, Ben, and Jose, to solve this puzzle, readers will delight in conversations that capture whimsical problem-solving approaches to his job.
James J. Griffin's ability to incorporate the folksy, homespun atmosphere of a good Western with a child's eye to solving a small town puzzle creates a compelling story that will delight kids interested in law enforcement conundrums.
It's a fine read that will keep young folk guessing to the end, and blends the atmosphere and approach of a Western with a mystery that introduces kids to the potential range and strengths of the Western novel format. D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
When the annual Winchester, Texas Pickle Fest is called into question, alliteration flies as fast as the action. It's up to Deputy Pete's posse of pals - including a carrot-loving horse and pepper-spotted pooch - to puzzle out the predicament. Good guy Jim Griffin pens playful, potent prose with Deputy Pete and the Purloined Pickles Puzzle, a sure-fire Western winner for early readers. Richard Prosch, Spur-Award winning author
A brief glimpse into the life of a deputy serving his community to the best of his ability and receiving the help of his friends. A great way to teach children to be friends with law enforcement and not afraid of them.
Keith Korenek, Sheriff, Fayette County, Texas *Jurisdiction includes Winchester
Deputy Pete and the Purloined Pickle Puzzle is a delightful mystery for young readers. The dialogue is clever and funny. The young heroes are spunky. Author Jim Griffin uses interesting and genuine vocabulary as Deputy Pete, his horse Charcoal, and dog Pepper solve a sweet pickle mystery.
Susan Smayda, Retire Public Library Director, Southington, CT
A wonderfully written “who done it." Children, as well as parents and teachers, will enjoy the use of well-placed alliteration, descriptive language, and likable characters! Kathleen Ortoleva, Retired Middle School Teacher, New Haven, CT
Griffin offers young readers a glimpse into the 1890s with a lighthearted visit to a small country town. Written for young readers, Deputy Pete provides a humorous look at the value of community, honesty, and friendship as well as dogs and horses. I enjoyed the book and its subtle message that with the help of others, Deputy Pete was able to keep his word and nab the pickle thief.
Patricia Johnson, Technical Services Librarian, Wallingford, CT Public Library
Click to Order Book (photo courtesy of Debbie McConnell)