Marshmallow has already reviewed a book in Stuart Gibbs’ Teddy Fitzroy / FunJungle series: see her review of Belly Up, the first book of the series. Today she reviews the fourth book: Panda-monium.
Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you liked Belly Up or any of the other books by Stuart Gibbs (or if you just enjoy a good mystery), then this might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s Summary (with spoilers): Teddy Fitzroy lives in FunJungle, the world’s most elaborate zoo, owned by the billionaire J.J. McCracken. Living in FunJungle is not boring but it is dangerous. First Henry Hippo is murdered (see my review of the first book of the series where this happens), then Kazoo the Koala is koala-napped (in the second book), and then someone tries to kill the park’s rhinos (in the third book). Now, the most expensive animal that the zoo features, the giant panda Li Ping, gets kidnapped.
This is a big deal and the FBI steps in. Since the Chinese government lent Li Ping to J.J. McCracken, when he loses the panda he not only has to deal with the angry Chinese government but also the many people who wanted to see Li Ping. The guard who accompanied Li Ping, Marge O’Malley (who Teddy calls Large Marge because she is determined to send him to juvenile hall), is blamed. To make matters worse her sister who works in the FBI works on the case. Large Marge is determined to solve this case first, and since Teddy has a record of solving crimes (see FunJungle books), she blackmails him into solving the case. As he learns more and more, it becomes clear that not everyone is as innocent as they look.
Marshmallow’s Review: This is not your standard mystery book. It is a book that makes you want to find out who committed the crime so much that you will want to skip to the end.
This one is like the other books in the FunJungle series in the way that it is very suspenseful. There are many suspects but you don’t know who the real culprit is.
Though the book has no pictures, Stuart Gibbs puts an image in your mind. When you read his books, it seems like you know the characters. You admire Teddy Fitzroy and Summer McCracken, J.J. McCracken’s daughter, for their incredible detective skills and have a natural suspicion of Large Marge.
Gibbs does a great job of writing these stories that only Fitzroy could solve. In the end, you realize that all of the clues were in front of you the whole time but you never thought of it that way. J.J. McCracken’s character is interesting because he is very sly and sometimes seems to be nice but then sometimes he is not. The plot is very well written.
Panda-monium is as good as the previous books in terms of the suspense and the plot. And it is one of the funniest books in the series.
Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.