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The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen

A Pals in Peril Tale

Illustrated by Kurt Cyrus

In serious need of a vacation after their last laser-beam-filled exploit, Lily, Jasper, and Katie have dashed off for some rest and relaxation at the Moose Tongue Lodge and Resort, a fine hotel offering roaring fires, cocoa socials, and many fine displays of taxidermy.

But in a bizarre and suspicious turn of events, a number of other children’s book heroes appear to be vying for the same crisp mountain air – including the dim but well-built Manley Boys, the boy-crazy Cutesy Dell Twins, and Eddie Wax from the little-known horse classic Stumpy Rides to Glory. Then there are the adorable mystery-solving Hooper Quints, who, along with a wealthy heiress’s priceless diamond necklace, are suddenly snatched by persons unknown.

Meaningless coincidence? Or could it all be part of a nefarious plot involving duct tape, wolves, snakes, Bavarian folk pants, and a slew of counterfeit dinner coupons? Tough to say, but one thing’s for sure: Katie, Lily, and Jasper are the only swell youngsters around who can solve this spine-tingling mystery.

A JLG Selection

“Never has the Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew axis been knocked further or more delightfully askew.” – Booklist, starred review

“Funny, yes, but also existentially thought-provoking.” – Horn Book Guide, pointer review

“Fiendishly clever – it could be called profound if it weren’t so knee-slappingly funny.” – Publishers Weekly

On The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen

As a kid, I spent many happy hours lying on my belly, with my tennis-shoe heels bumping together in the air, reading the Hardy Boys books – not to mention Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators and Encyclopedia Brown and any other series about kid detectives which I could get my twiggy little hands on.

I loved reading these books on vacation … and I can’t help but notice that some of their holiday mood comes from the fact that Frank and Joe Hardy and Nancy Drew and Jupiter Jones and the rest of the pint-sized Sherlocks are often on the road to vacationland themselves in the books, investigating crimes not just in their home town, but in Pennsylvania Dutch country, down the gullet of the Grand Canyon, or up at a remote mountain lodge.

As in the first Pals in Peril novel, Whales on Stilts!, I wanted to capture the happiness of summer days spent reading those books – and my odd nostalgia, as a child, for an America I was just starting to understand and imagine … my sense of a lineage of American child readers that I could trace on library cards, scrawled names from different decades – leading from some kid Gus back in 1943 down, through years of saddle shoes and flat-tops and fin-cars and the flip and hippies to my name, written last on that list in the 1980s.

So this book is my homage to those old mystery series read by all those people through the years.

And now you are part of that lineage of readers. We all, the living and the dead, welcome you.