Adam Frost, A Brush with Danger

Stripes, 2015, ISBN 978-1-84715-616-7

French gallery owner Suzie La Pooch has a problem and she needs private detective Wily Fox's help. Dmitri Gottabottomitch, the Russian brown bear she bought a painting from, has demanded it back. She loves the picture by new artist Kandogski and has offered ten times the amount she paid to keep it, but to no avail. Now she has been threatened. Wily promises to be in Paris that afternoon. His resourceful sidekick, Albert the mole, unveils the very thing he needs, a customised Vespa scooter that can fly and dig tunnels. Wily is in Paris in no time, looking at the very unusual painting in question, when a parcel is delivered. The cheese it contains, Le Pong Beaucoup, releases a poisonous gas. As it takes effect, wolves in gas masks steal the painting. Wily's attempts to track it down lead him into a chase up the Eiffel Tower and scary adventures in Moscow He discovers crime and subterfuge on an international scale. This is a case that requires all his sleuthing powers, and more than a little cunning.

A Brush with Danger is packed with action and with humour. Wily is an appealing character, and children will also enjoy the other animal protagonists. There are attractive black and white illustrations on nearly every page. The new Fox Investigates series looks set to be a hit.