Philip and the Thief…

5 Mar

Another release from Author of the Week: John Paulits.

Philip and the Thief

After Philip solves a few neighborhood mysteries, he decides to open a detective agency with his best pal Emery. Their classmate Jason starts making fun of their efforts, though, and being a detective suddenly isn’t so much fun. But soon Jason is accused of stealing money from the teacher, and Emery encourages Philip to solve the case and get Jason thrown out of their class. Philip sets to work and shocks the class when he reveals the solution to the mystery.


“Philip the Great,” shouted Philip Felton as he bounced noisily down the stairs from his bedroom to the living room, purple Jolly Rancher in hand.

“Philip, you’re so humble,” said his father, looking up from the sofa, where he lay reading the Saturday newspaper.

“Philip, don’t talk like that,” said his mother as she passed through the living room, carrying Philip’s little sister Becky on her way upstairs. “It sounds very impolite. If anybody heard you . . . and candy again?”

His mother’s voice trailed away as Philip watched her climb the steps. He walked over to his father. “That’s not what I meant. I didn’t mean great like better than everybody, Dad.”

“Well, you are great, Flipper. Even if your tongue is purple.” He reached over and messed Philip’s hair.

“I meant like Nate the Great,” said Philip. “He solves the neighborhood’s mysteries. You read me a couple of the books.”

“I know Nate the Great well,” said Mr. Felton. “He’s a fine boy. Since you’re using his name, you better have solved a mystery or two to back it up.”

“I did!” exclaimed Philip. “Remember last night when Emery came over?”
Emery Wyatt was Philip’s best friend, except for when they argued. He sat across from Philip in Mr. Ware’s fourth grade class at the Donovan Elementary School.

“I remember. Take the candy out of your mouth when you talk.”

Philip removed the Jolly Rancher and said, “We were upstairs in my room. I gave him a candy bar, a Snickers. He only ate half of it.”

“A half of a candy bar went uneaten?” said Mr. Felton. “That’s a mystery right there. I thought you guys didn’t stop until you devoured every candy bar in sight.”

“He might have been filled up from the two Milky Ways and the Baby Ruth he already ate.”

“Ah, I see. Mystery solved.”

“That’s not the mystery, Dad. I woke up this morning and remembered the half a candy bar, but I couldn’t remember what Emery did with it. I knew he didn’t eat it.”

“Go on.”

“He didn’t take it home, either,” said Philip, “because I remembered his hands were empty when he left. Then I saw a brown fingerprint on my wall, and it had to be a chocolate fingerprint of Emery’s.”

“Why Emery’s fingerprint and not yours? And clean the wall before your mother sees it.”

“I will,” said Philip. “Emery’s because I gave Emery the soft candy bars and he got all chocolaty. I ate the hard ones.”

“Very cunning of you. Then you could tell your mom Emery made the mess, not you.”

“Dad, stop. I found the fingerprint on the wall next to my bureau. I looked around, but I didn’t see the candy bar anywhere. Only my three Nate the Great books were on top of the bureau. I read them again after Emery went home and left them there. Threw them there, actually. Since I threw the books on top of the bureau, I figured maybe the books knocked the candy bar behind the bureau and when I looked, I saw the candy bar stuck halfway down.”

“So where is the evidence now?” Mr. Felton asked.

“I ate it.”

“You ate the evidence?”

“After I washed a little dust off it,” said Philip.

“Sounds kind of gross to me,” said Mr. Felton, making an ick face.

“I couldn’t waste a whole half a candy bar, Dad. I said I washed it before I ate it.”

Philip’s father smiled. “And you owe your success to teamwork between you and Nate the Great.”

“What teamwork?”

“Nate’s inspiration and your careless aim.”

The doorbell rang and Philip ran to get it. When he opened the door, Emery walked in.

“Emery, hello,” said Philip’s father. “We were just talking about you.”

“I lost my Superball,” Emery moaned dejectedly. “And I had to pester for it, too. My mother said I pestered her so much she only bought it to keep me quiet. Now I can’t even find it.”

Philip and his father looked at each other. Another mystery!

“Emery,” said Mr. Felton, “I have good news for you. Philip the Great will help you find your missing ball.”

“Who’s Philip the Great?” Emery asked.

“Me, Emery. Me.”

“What makes you so great?”

“Explain it to him, Philip,” said Mr. Felton. “I have to go. Good luck finding your ball, Emery. See you later.”

“My dad’s joking. I solved a mystery the way Nate the Great does, so that makes me Philip the Great.”

“Find my Superball,” said Emery sadly, “and I’ll feel like Emery the Great.”

“Let’s go over your house,” said Philip. “Tell me what happened and maybe I’ll be able to find a clue.”

“I hope so.” And the boys left.




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