The World’s Greatest Detective
Orphaned Toby Montrose lives with his uncle Gabriel, an investigator, but new cases are rare when the World’s Greatest Detective Hugh Abernathy lives just down the street. As their funds continue to dwindle, Toby is sure he’ll soon be sent to the orphanage.
So when the aging Mr. Abernathy sets up a competition with ten thousand dollars on the line, Toby is willing to do anything for a chance at the money – but Toby soon finds that the detecting is harder than he thought as he discovers that no one is who they seem.
Beyond his detective dreams, Toby struggles with being wanted, and through his failures he realizes his own abilities. Though the book could have been made more concise with fewer of Toby’s failures, Toby’s naivete makes him a more relatable and realistic hero, even if it makes the story a bit more bildungsroman than mystery (although there are plenty of twists and clues).
Like a cross between The Westing Game and Sherlock Holmes for tweens, The World’s Greatest Detective is a feel-good coming of age tale about a young orphan’s somewhat clumsy cleverness and resilience, and features a refreshing dash of humor.