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  • Susan Stoderl

Mission 1: All in a Day's Work | A Middle-Grade Detective Book

Middle Grade Detective Series for Ages 8-12

The occupant of apartment 4A, Sean O’Donoghue, otherwise known as Mr. O’D, followed a specific routine every morning. He put on his Donegal cap and walked the two blocks to Fairlane Market, where he scrutinized the produce and meat selections for quality and freshness. He flirted with the cashier, then carried his bag of groceries home and up the four flights of stairs. At Sophia’s, he placed the perishables in the refrigerator and left the nonperishables on the kitchen table.

Every day but Saturday, he chose nutritious food to fit that day’s theme, but on Saturdays, Sophia chose the menu. It could be pizza and ice cream, chocolate cookies and soda pop, or a hamburger with mayo, mustard, and pickles with a side of peanut butter. They left veggies for every other day. Tonight was No Bunnies, Moo-Cows, or Chicks.

After a slight detour to the zoo (only twenty blocks), Sophia arrived home an hour late. Brown rice took longer to cook than she had time for. (I can’t serve frozen French fries with tofu and veggies.)

“How long did you cook this?” asked Mr. O’D. It sounded like he was chewing dried cornflakes instead of steamed rice.

Sophia blushed, then turned the right side of her face to Mr. O’D—the side with the green eye, curlier hair, and dimple. “Forty minutes, of course!”

“Sophia!” One eyeball collided with a bushy-white eyebrow.

“Well... almost forty.”

Mr. O’D raised the other eyebrow.

“All right!” Sophia’s temper flared at being caught in a fib. “Only thirty minutes. I had to visit Jack at the zoo.”


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