Thursday, December 8, 2011




Summary: The gritty Ace Lacewing is the only one who can find Queenie Bee when she disappears in this tongue-in-cheek, noir spoof. Ace is a private detective in Motham City and determined to find the missing girl. With his friends Dr. Blue and Sergeant Zito, Ace follows the clues. Through questioning a series of suspects, Ace discovers there is more to the case. The author uses clever puns to keep both in the insect realm and the noir feel of the book .The illustrations evoke classic black and white detective films with the use of dark colors. This is a great mystery and the beginning to a promising series.

Citation: Biedrzycki, D. (2005). Ace Lacewing: Bug detective. Watertown, MA:  

Charlesbridge Pub Inc.

Impression: I thought that this was an adorable, punny book full of mystery and allusions to noir film. I enjoyed the detailed illustrations and laughed out loud at the subtle jokes. Children will enjoy the amusing tale, but adults will really get what the author has done with all the references to classic detective stories.


Ludke, L. (2005, August). [Book review of Ace Lacewing:Bug detective, by D. Biedrzycki]. School 

            Library Journal. Available from  School Library Journal website:

Motham City is abuzz with the kidnapping of Queenie Bee, and Ace Lacewing, the Sam Spade of insects, is on the case. His motto is, "Bad bugs are my business." Lacewing follows the trail of honey with the help of his gal, Doctor Xerces Blue, and Sergeant Zito, a mosquito. A motley (and sometimes molting) assortment of suspects is questioned. Their character traits are based on facts: "The roaches said of course they ran from the scene of the crime-it was their nature to scatter when the lights go on." Puns and wordplay abound: "I've known him ever since we were pupae at the same school"; "The full moon hung in the sky like a large compound eye...." The digitally enhanced illustrations evoke a film noir atmosphere, with moody blue and black backgrounds. The pages are also brimming with humorous details such as glowworm street lamps, "Bug Off" police tape, and "Slow Larvae" road signs. This clever parody of hard-boiled detective stories is sure to tickle readers' thorax.

Uses: I would use this book in a display for younger mystery books. Sometimes this can be hard to find, beyond some of the classics. The display could be completed with a simple murder mystery on a bulletin board that kids could do on their own time. This also lends itself to a program about bugs and could be paired with the movie, A Bug’s Life.

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