Guinea PIG # 5, Raining Cats and Detectives by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue

Sasspants and Hamisher have finally committed to being “real” detectives – by getting a desk and a cup of pens – when Viola’s (Mr. Venezi’s newest employee) efforts to sell pets (it is, after all, a pet store!) begin to pay off. Sasspants is adopted by the perfect owner – a detective with an extensive library. He already has a bunch of pets, so it’s almost like she never left the shop. But when Sasspants learns that Tummytickles (the sleepy cat from the bookstore) has disappeared, she’s on the case (and out the window). Hamisher and the other pet store animals are also investigating the disappearance – suddenly everyone’s a detective! Will Tummytickles be found? And who will get the reward for his safe return?

Bursting with cute animals and silly (if not exactly witty – at least among the fish) repartee, the newest installment in the Guinea PIg series will delight fans. Sasspants is able to tear herself away from her books long enough to admit that she actually likes Hamisher, and likes being a detective (and loathes being separated from her best friend and her calling). Excellent. And Mr. V is finally learning the real names of the animals he’s got in his shop! Great!

Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, Young Adult Librarian

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