Eleven-year-old Shimmy desperately wants to solve mysteries. But, along with his first real case comes some very real obstacles.
Inspired by his detective books, Shimmy Stern has assembled a mystery-solving toolkit, honed his skills, and even learned detective “lingo.” All he needs is a quiet place to think. But Shimmy’s “office,” a portion of the basement playroom sectioned off by the pre-fabricated walls of the family’s sukkah (used for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot in autumn), comes at a steep price, when he gains four “helpers” — his siblings.
Eight-year-old Yitzy tells one joke after another, while seven-year-old Nosson insists on keeping the case notes — but can’t seem to tell important clues from useless bits of information. Adina, age ten, has the potential to help, but she’s busy watching out for what four-year-old Miri might get into.
When sweet, old Mrs. Rabinovitz hires Shimmy to figure out how Chanukah candles are disappearing from her menorahs, he jumps at the chance to have a real case. First he needs to figure out why the woman, who lives alone, has eight menorahs when she needs only one for the holiday. Then, he must discover how candles are mysteriously disappearing from the menorahs — in time for the holiday, which is only a week away.
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