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How to be a Detective    by Dan Waddell & Jim Smith order for
How to be a Detective
by Dan Waddell
Order:  USA  Can
Candlewick, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If there's a junior Sherlock Holmes in the family, here's the perfect activity book to get your pint-sized detective into an investigation mode.
Featuring hands-on activities and flaps on each page that will walk your amateur sleuth through the case, this sturdy volume begins with information about the legendary, fictional Baker Street detective.

There's also a Detective's Dictionary with words like forensics, stakeout and witness and a list of necessary equipment such as a camera, magnifying glass and fingerprinting kit. Don't worry; the book comes with the magnifier and an ink pad for taking fingerprints, plus instructions on how to make your own periscope.

As the young investigator moves through the book, he or she will discover material hidden behind flaps on how to analyze a crime scene, take fingerprints, and recognize clues like footprints, hair samples and lipstick. Other sections delve into disguises, surveillance, and tips on making a Wanted Poster.

Of course, any good detective needs to be familiar with questioning witnesses, interviewing suspects, and analyzing handwriting. There's information here on these skills as well as determining a criminal's modus operandi and working up a criminal's profile.

Like Sherlock, your amateur detective may want to have a partner (a Dr. Watson, in other words!) and there's a section on how to work well with a sidekick. There's also a recipe for making invisible ink necessary for sending secret messages and how to set up a dead letter box.

Once the novice gumshoe understands how to approach a mystery, he or she will find a poster, The Case of the Missing Moaning Jenny, that provides an opportunity to test those new investigative skills. Don't tackle this missing painting case, though, until you've read the book!

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