Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Exploding Plumbing and Other Mysteries



Book: Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Exploding Plumbing and Other Mysteries

Author: Donald J. Sobol

Illustrator: Leonard Shortall

Publisher: Puffin Books, republished 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0590405317 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0590405314 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0590014120 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0590014129 Paperback

Language level: 2

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Ages 8 – 12

Rating: ***** 5 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Sobol, Donald J.  Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Exploding Plumbing and Other Mysteries (Published in 1974 by Thomas Nelson Inc.; republished in 1975 by Scholastic Book Services, a division of Scholastic Magazines Inc.).  Ten year old fifth grader Leroy Brown, nicknamed “Encyclopedia” by his friends, lives in Idaville, a lovely seaside town, with his father, who is the Chief of Police, and his mother.  Encyclopedia helps his father solve crimes.  In addition, he and his classmate Sally Kimball run a detective agency out of his garage during the summer to help the children of the neighborhood.  “No case too small.  25₵ per day plus expenses.”  Many of his cases put him in conflict with Bugs Meany, the leader of a tough gang of older boys called the Tigers.

The Case of the Exploding Plumbing is listed as “Encyclopedia Brown #11” of 28 in the Encyclopedia Brown Series.  It was previously published as Encyclopedia Brown Lends a Hand.  The cases involve a stolen newspaper clipping that could be valuable, a huge footprint in the soft earth, counterfeit money in a bird’s nest, a missing silver dollar, a threatening letter, and an exploding toilet.  The solutions to these short cases are in the back of the book, which has more recently been republished under its original title.  Also I have read and reviewed Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective; Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs; Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case (#10); and the Encyclopedia Brown Mystery Collection.

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