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Who Done It?

Review

Who Done It?

Ever wonder if your favorite author has a dark side? If, secretly, Libba Bray bumped off her literary agent? What if David Levithan did in a complete stranger? Indulge your evilest authorial fantasies with WHO DONE IT?, a fantastically fun and creepy volume that is equal parts “Choose Your Own Adventure” and CLUE. Edited by Jon Scieszka, WHO DONE IT? features the cream of the crop of YA authors --- all of whom just might have killed someone.

"Clever and inventive, WHO DONE IT? captures each author’s fun side, while simultaneously bringing his or her unique voice to the fore."

The dead guy at hand was revolting (and fictional) book editor Herman Mildew. Each author provides an account of why he or she absolutely detested Mildew. A man of the foulest habits humanly possible, Mildew was just as repulsive in person. He kept pieces of gristly lamb in his pockets, recounts Margo Rabb, and shoved any kind of meat possible into his gaping mouth. Judy Blundell describes how Mildew would shake his toenail clippings into his briefcase. Everyone thought of Mildew as a man of the worst sort, even after he was murdered.

None of the suspects say they actually committed the murder. No, even though everyone hated good old Mildew, they all insist they’re innocent. But, then again, when has a killer ever confessed right away? The excuses pile up amusingly: Mac Barnett provides a whole list of people he loathes, but has never killed, including a man who called his dog, "fat." Illustrator David Ostow serves up a comic strip that features him being interrogated in a police station and saying that even so much as leaving a steaming bag of dog poop on Mildew’s porch would be career suicide.

If none of the suspects proclaim their guilt, then whodunnit? That, dear reader, is for you to figure out. Check each suspect’s alibis and motives carefully. After all, one of them might’ve wielded the murder weapon. When the editor patted down the suspect, he came up with a host of suspicious objects, including throwing stars, a suitcase containing poisonous frogs, and a frozen leg of lamb. Who’s to say your favorite author didn’t do the dastardly deed?

Clever and inventive, WHO DONE IT? captures each author’s fun side, while simultaneously bringing his or her unique voice to the fore. Moreover, proceeds from the book benefit 826nyc, Dave Eggers’ literacy non-profit. Foul play and philanthropy: What could be better?

Reviewed by Carly Silver on December 21, 2012

Who Done It?
by Jon Scieszka