This book, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch, is the second in the Encyclopedia Brown series which follows the exploits of Encyclopedia Brown, America’s Sherlock Holmes in sneakers.
This volume was comprised of ten stories.
1) The Case of the Secret Pitch in which Bugs Meany has committed a forgery, but only Encyclopedia knows how he did it.
2) The Case of the Balloon Man in which Mr. Potts accuses the innocent Izzy of kidnapping Bobby Tyler.
3) The Case of the Ambushed Cowboy in which Encyclopedia must prove that a tale told eighty-five years ago is false.
4) The Case of the Forgetful Sheriff in which Encyclopedia must discover why a sheriff was arrested along with the gang that he captured.
5) The Case of the Hungry Hitchhiker in which Encyclopedia and his father chase down a gang of bank robbers.
6) The Case of the Two-Fisted Poet in which Encyclopedia hints that perhaps Percy isn’t such a great fighter after all.
7) The Case of the Wounded Toe in which Charlie Stewart is shot in the foot and Bugs’ Tigers Club are immediate suspects.
8) The Case of Excalibur in which Bugs Meany tries to blame Encyclopedia for the theft of his pocketknife.
9) The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale in which a famous violinist stands to lose his Stradivarius unless Encyclopedia can prove that his opponent cheated.
10) The Case of the Stomach Puncher in which Encyclopedia investigates whether Biff Logan really stole Herb Stein’s bicycle.
Here are the top two interesting similes from Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch.
Sally stamped her foot. “Ooooh, that Bugs Meany!” she cried. “Don’t trust him, Encyclopedia. Drop the case!”
“I don’t trust Bugs any farther than I can throw a cheesecake under water,” replied Encyclopedia. [pg. 56]
“One morning Speedy Flanagan, the shortest fast-ball pitcher in the Idaville Little League, walked into the Brown Detective Agency. He wore a face longer than the last day of school.” [pg. 4]
I’ve said before that there are three recurring themes in the Encyclopedia Brown series. True to form, they made their appearance here in The Case of the Two Spies.
1) Encyclopedia’s father, Chief Brown brings home all of his most difficult cases home for Encyclopedia to solve because he’s so much smarter than all adults.
2) Sally Kimball is described not only as the prettiest girl in fifth grade, but also as the best fighter. She punches out boys whenever she feels they deserve it.
3) Children call each other names.
In one of the cases, Sally goes to the theater with a boy. They hold hands. Their story ends by her getting mad at him and punching him.
‘Gosh’ is used twice.
Conclusion. Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch is what I would call ‘filler fiction’ – not especially wonderful, but not especially damaging. It will not promote serious thinking, but will provide safe enough literature for voracious readers. Not the best, but not noxious.
Note: This is a review of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch, not the entire Encyclopedia Brown Series.
Review © 2012 Laura Verret