Fan Mail Wednesday #156: “Why Is Jigsaw Always In Grade 2?”

Ethan asks a great question . . .

Dear Mr.Preller,
I really like your Jigsaw Jones mystery novels, but I have a few questions:
1. In Jigsaw Jones #23 The Case of the Perfect Prank it says: “Mila had been my partner for years.” Why years? Have they solved mysteries together since grade Kindergarten?
2. Why is Jigsaw always in grade 2?
I replied:


Thanks for your email.
Yes, Mila and Jigsaw have been friends for a long time, and they did crack their first case back in kindergarten. I haven’t written that story yet, but maybe someday I will.
Illustration by Jamie Smith.
When I started the series, the stories kind of cycled through the school year. After a few books, when it looked like the series was a success and my publisher wanted more titles, I asked my editor: What now? Does he go into 3rd grade?
She said, No, he stays in 2nd grade.
Forever? I asked.
Forever, she told me.
I said, Well, what about Thanksgiving? It’s already happened in this series.
She told me that I could and should write about that time of year again, but each time would be like the first time. Just basically pretend the other books hadn’t been written.
Pretty confusing, because with each book the series accumulates new information on all these characters. Mila has a stepmother named Alice, for example, Bigs Maloney’s father works as a florist, and so on, so I’ve had to recognize that the books happened, certain facts have been established, while simultaneously pretending that the stories never occurred. Weird stuff.
It’s been strange, I’ll admit it, but that’s the way my publisher wanted the series to go.
Great question, thanks for writing, and have a terrific, book-filled summer!

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