The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by Drew Weing

Margo

Hardcover, 128 pages
Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by First Second
Source: Publisher

Charles’s parents have uprooted him from his hometown and brought him Echo City which is bigger and busier than anywhere Charles has ever been before. They live in a tiny apartment in a building his dad is renovating and which, Charles is very much afraid, is haunted. His mother is stressed out by moving and working and doesn’t have as much time for Charles as she used to. And the food…Charles is now subject to the strange (and according to him, often inedible) food that is available in the city and that his parents seem to find delicious.

Also, there is a monster in his closet. Not that his parents believe but Charles knows better. A kid who lives in the same apartment as him (and possibly one of his first friends) gives me the card of one Margo Maloo who advertises herself as someone who gets rid of monsters/ghosts/and other paranormal things for the common child.

So Charles calls her and thus begins one of the stranger partnerships in fiction. Margo Maloo is a mystery–perhaps more of one than the troll who lives in Charles’s building. She takes care of Charles’s monster problem and leaves with the warning that Charles must not speak of her existence to anyone and he must especially not write about her in his online site/blog.

But Charles is a budding journalist and he cannot leave well enough alone. He pokes his nose in places it should not be poked and lands in a lot more trouble than he was courting. Thankfully Margo Maloo is available to help him out of some sticky spots. He follows her demanding to be a sidekick and she, begrudgingly, lets him, allowing that his knowledge of the more esoteric elements of Echo City have made him far too dangerous for many different reasons.

Charles and Margo battle ghosts, find a lost monster baby, and traverse the hidden paths of Echo City. I am glad this is a series because this volume has whet my appetite for more. Maloo is a very interesting, very shadowy, character and I am keen to get to know more about her. Charles on the other hand is very transparent and often acts as a foil to Margo’s character. His lack of guile works as a boost for hers.

The art style fits the story perfectly. The characters are diverse and the narrative smart, moving with alacrity from one point to another. I enjoyed this immensely and recommend it to MG readers who are graphic novel/supernatural/detective story fans.

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