First there was Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Then, we had Mike Stone (Karl Malden) and Steve Keller (Michael Douglas) in The Streets of San Francisco. If you mashed up Stone & Keller with Frog & Toad, you’d have Detective Gordon and Buffy, the heroes of Detective Gordon: The First Case written by Ulf Nilsson and illustrated by Gitte Spee
Detective Gordon is an aging detective, fond of cakes, and prone to falling asleep. Buffy is his new assistant, eager and anxious to get out the pistol. They are working together to solve the mystery of the nuts that are disappearing all over the forest. Detective Gordon, though getting older, has learned important lessons.
I was a little concerned at first with the pistol that was locked in the cabinet. Buffy keeps asking if they are going to use it. Detective Gordon keeps telling her “no”. Finally, he explains,
“To take the pistol one must be very wise and very careful. It’s dangerous.”
Buffy jumped up and down angrily. The thieves were disappearing between the trees. But she badly wanted to have the pistol.
She would have it.
“But you are very wise and very careful, chief.”
Detective Gordon held up his finger. He had something very important to say.
“The one who is really wise and very careful doesn’t take it with him!” said the detective. “It’s dangerous.”
Far, far away, they could hear the thieves laughing. But Buffy wouldn’t give up.
“Why is it in the glass cabinet then? Why don;t you throw it away?”
“In case someone finds it and hurts themselves. It is safest locked up in the police station.”
The entire book is full of philosophical conversations like that. But what makes me really love the book is the stamp.
Every paper the detective duo write on requires an official stamp. The stamp they use has a crown in the center, through Detective Gordon doesn’t really know why “but it seemed powerful and no one had questioned it”. It makes a satisfying KLA-DUNK sound and that is good enough.
This is a charming book for readers just venturing into chapter books.