Tag Archive for Jigsaw Jones excerpt

Fan Mail Wednesday #152: Featuring Artwork!

I like it when the letters include artwork.

I replied:

Dear Andrew,

Hey, thanks for your typed letter, the terrific drawing, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Well played, young man!

I’m glad you liked The Case of the Haunted Scarecrow. It has one of my favorite moments in it, when Mila figures the suspect might have printed his name in the shirt. After all, moms and dads do that for kids all the time when they go to camp. So Jigsaw checks the shirt and says, “We’re looking for a kid named Eddie Bauer.”

For blog readers, here’s the scene where Mila and Jigsaw investigate the mysterious scarecrow . . .

Mila fumbled with the shirt collar. “My father’s a neat freak,” Mila jabbered. “He organizes everything. He even writes my name in the back of all my clothes.”

Mila smiled. “Look,” she said.

I craned my neck to read the label. “We’re looking for a kid named Eddie Bauer.”

“That’s the clothing label!” Mila said. “Read the other name.”

I read the name that was printed on the marker: Buzzy Lennon.

I looked up into the trees. There were hardly any leaves left. The sky was crisp and bright. Halloween was next week, then Thanksgiving, then the frozen days and nights of winter. I turned to the front door of the sad, old, silent house. “Let’s see if the doorbell works,” I said.

The door slowly opened with an eerie squeak. Mrs. Rigby’s small, red-rimmed eyes blinked in the sun.

“Yes, what is it?” she asked.

I got the name of the old lady who lived alone in the house from a song by The Beatles: “Eleanor Rigby.”

I appreciate your idea for a different ending. And you are right, that would have been smart. Too bad that Buzzy was so lazy -– he’d rather cheat than do an honest day’s work.

It was nice hearing from you. Keep on reading those books!

Your friend,


Entenmann’s & Dad: Part 2, from memory to realistic fiction

In a previous post, I wrote about memories of my father, specifically the kinds of food he used to buy when grocery shopping.

Scroll down or click here to backtrack to it.

I’ll wait.

Now let’s see how that family memory — from memory to memoir to creative fiction — played out in Jigsaw Jones #28: The Case of the Food Fight.

Note: Growing up, we always had to help our father bring in the packages. It was one of the few rules I can remember. This scene, from chapter 1, picks up at that point. The Jones boys, Daniel, Nick, and Jigsaw, hauling in the shopping bags. I’ll let Jigsaw pull the thread from here . . .

My mom buys healthy things, food that is good for us. If that sounds boring, you should try eating it. But sometimes my dad shops. He buys stuff that my mother would never touch.

Dad, you see, has a sweet tooth.

A big one.

We might not have liked carrying the heavy bags, but we liked checking out all the tasty treats.

“Wow,” Nick said. “This cereal is totally awesome. It’s mini chocolate chip cookies . . .”

“. . . that are frosted with sugar!” Daniel exclaimed.

“And they come with rainbow-colored marshmallows!” I cheered.

“Hey, look at this,” Daniel gushed. “A whole bag of Snickers bars!”

“That stuff’s expensive,” my father said. “So take it easy, boys. Prices are going through the roof.”

“Sure, Dad, whatever,” Nick said. “Now let’s chow down on some of this junk food before Mom gets back from her trip.”