Books with Beauchanes: Chapter 8



Hannah is six years old; her brother Jack is five. As they prepared for their first day of first grade and afternoon kindergarten, they took a 15-minute break to hear about a couple of crime fighting turtles.

The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is a unique whodunit starring two turtles named Miles and Fargo. From their tank overlooking the Statue of Liberty, the reptiles witness a man steal a little girl’s violin as she walked home from school. The turtles call on their owner’s two dogs, Bogie and Bandit, to help them solve the crime since they are able to leave the house when they go for walks.

The story comes from Elaine Loeser, a fiction writer and reformed lawyer who wrote for the long-running NBC drama “Law and Order”. Her idea for The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius comes from her love for the Alfred Hitchcock film “Rear Window” and her real-life turtles of the same name.

By mentioning that Miles and Fargo were real, Hannah and Jack were immediately on board with the story. They were not ready, however, for the story to promptly begin with the crime. Hearing that the girl was crying and bleeding was a bit alarming to them, but Hannah knew that a happy ending was sure to come and made sure Jack knew too.

As the story went on, Hannah pointed out parts that stood out to her most, such as the turtles making mean comments about the dogs and the news articles calling the girl a “pigtailed prodigy” when in the illustrations she does not have pigtails. Jack was more engrossed in the tank that the turtles lived in, asking questions about the rock they sat on and why getting them a new filter was part of the story.

Although they didn’t recognize it, their personalities are a bit similar to that of Miles and Fargo’s. The story begins with Fargo telling Miles that it was his turn to sit on the rock in their tank, and their trouble with sharing is revisited a few times throughout the book. This has happened on more than one occasion in the Beauchane household, as in any normal one.

Hannah and Jack share a common interest in their love for an illustrated book, especially one involving animals. Despite their disinterest in the crime of the stolen violin, the book had them engaged in conversation about the plotline and kept their interest. Crime fighting turtles might not be up their alley, but The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius now stands proudly on their bookshelf.