The Bum Detective: Master Thief vs. Gumshoe

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The Bum Detective: Master Thief vs. Gumshoe
Author: Troll
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591154038
88 pages
15.6 x 21.9 cm / 6.2 x 8.7 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 6+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2017
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This is the fourth volume of the Oshiri tantei (The Bum Detective) series of illustrated books featuring a detective with a face like a butt and a brilliant deductive mind, who is also known for being kind to the ladies. Woven into the fabric of the two stories included here are quizzes, mazes, hidden pictures, and other puzzles for young readers to enjoy along with the fanciful tales themselves. With his trademark refrain of “Hmm, I smell trouble” followed by many an amusing twist and turn, the Bum Detective solves mysteries with his faithful but scatterbrained canine assistant Brown at his side.

The title story begins when the butler of the wealthy Ōyagi house comes to the Bum Detective’s office to request his services. The Ōyagis have received a card signed by the famed “Master Thief U,” known in particular as a master of disguise, warning that he intends to steal their treasured family heirloom, a gem called “Starlit Night.” The Bum Detective and Brown get into the car with the butler and head for the Ōyagi mansion on a cliff overlooking the sea. Shortly after they arrive, the butler discovers a package from U. When the detective and some of the household staff look up from inspecting the package, the butler has vanished. Searching the mansion, they find him trapped inside a suit of armor and realize it is U’s doing. Suddenly they hear a scream. It is Hoshiyo, the daughter of the house. She says the Starlit Night has been stolen. But upon studying the scene, the Bum Detective declares that the gem has not been stolen. Hoshiyo is actually none other than U, who has disguised himself as Hoshiyo in an effort to get her father to reveal the location of the gem.

Even though he has been exposed, U has also learned the location of the gem. When he grabs it and attempts to flee, the Bum Detective tosses him a parting gift—a rose infused with an intensely revolting smell. The foul odor throws U off balance and the Bum Detective is able to snatch the gem back as U falls into the sea below.

On their way home the next day, the Bum Detective and Brown find a card from U addressed to them. “Next time, you can be sure the victory will be mine,” it declares, and the Bum Detective realizes that Master Thief U remains a formidable foe.

The accompanying story relates how Brown learned to stand on just his hind legs as well as to talk when he was still a little puppy.