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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Detective Nosegoode and the Music Box Mystery (Book 1)
by Marian Orton
Age Range: 9-11
This is the first, in a series of classic books about Detective Nosegoode and his dog Cody, by Polish author Marian Ortoń.
Ambrosius Nosegoode, the famous detective and author of an outstanding book called How to Unmask a Thief, is enjoying a quiet retirement in his cottage in the sleepy town of Lower Limewood, along with his faithful and remarkable dog Cody – not least because he can talk! Detective Nosegoode spends his days relaxing, growing radishes or reading aloud to Cody a copy of The Morning News and A Dog’s Friend as Cody also has an interest in politics, not to mention news from canine circles.
A mysterious crime soon disturbs Ambrosius’ peace. When the town chemist, Mr Swallowtail’s music box is stolen from the clockmaker Ignatius Blossom’s workshop, Detective Nosegoode is called upon to investigate. Cody is also determined to help him because he has his own theory about what has happened. There is Blackbeard, a strange man in the village with a fake moustache who appears to be acting suspiciously so Cody is sure he’s onto something.
Ortoń’s text is witty, the main protagonists are engaging, particularly the lovable Cody, and the adventure keeps the reader in suspense. The excellent translation by Eliza Marciniak really captures the humour.
Ortoń (1932-1990) was an award-winning children's writer. His subtle sense of humour and exciting plots made the stories in his Detective Nosegoode series bestsellers in Poland. The atmospheric black and white illustrations by Jerzy Flisak (1930-2008), a well-known Polish illustrator of more than 70 books and a designer of film posters and stage sets, perfectly complements the story.