Wednesday, September 25, 2013
1973-The N American oil crisis, and the 1st McGurk book! Oh, and a couple years before i was born
The first book, "The Nose Knows" is where everything is set up. Best friends Joey Rockaway and Jack McGurk befriend a new kid moving into town, Willie Sandowsky. Willie is a champion sniffer, and he is using his talent to try to find a catcher's mitt his mom says she packed by sniffing all the empty boxes his family used to cart their things in when moving to their new house.
McGurk is so impressed with Willie's rare talent that he decides to open up a detective agency! With his ability to think logically, Joey's book smarts, and Willie's ability to sniff out the clues, he thinks there's no case they can't crack.
The first one will be the missing mitt. You see, Willie's wealthy aunt bought that mitt for him. As Willie explains, she is VERY generous with spending money on her nephew's hobbies and interests, but if he loses one of her gifts, that's it! The flow of presents will instantly dry up! (A bit mean, i say!) McGurk (seeing a bright shiny $10 bill to be used for detective things (like a fingerprint kit) in the balance) pulls all the stops on hunting the clues.
When Willie smells the box the mitt was packed in (proving his mom did indeed pack it), the trio logically think about who had opportunity to pinch it. Willie remembers a "welcome wagon" of neighbours who greeted the Sandowskys including a few kids who may be the nabbers. As they interview the kids (with Willie smelling their hands), one of them, a girl named Wanda Grieg asks to join the organization. McGurk agrees once she shows them how they can get away with smelling all the ladies' hands who were a part of the welcome wagon (this includes a hilarious scene of the three boys dressing as the Three Musketeers and going around bowing at the ladies, with Willie kissing their hands (and smelling them too))
After a time, it is shown that a neighbourhood dog was along too, and he is the one who took the glove. A funny chase thru the area, (with McGurk in his best suit to "make the arrest") later, and the quartet get the glove back!
Ok, my thoughts-this is quite an interesting book! Even now, at 37, i enjoyed reading it again. And as a child, i was absolutely drawn in to McGurk's world. This may be a bit dated in places (the kids are actually RESPECTFUL to adults, there are no double entrendres, or anything indecent in the books), but still quite a fun read. Note: this first book was only sold in the UK and Canada i believe, so it is hard to find. But perhaps not-ebay and amazon let you find almost ANYTHING (hey, there may be some redeeming qualities of 21st century living!)