Ace Lacewing is back to solve another mystery. Scratch Murphy, the owner of Six Legs Park, is knocked unconscious by a falling toolbox–presumably the property of a disgruntled carpenter ant–and wakes to find his flea bag empty and his money gone. Ace discovers that his client has a lot of enemies, including a fly-by-night roach in the banking business; Scratch’s twin brother, Scritch; and a weevil with over-the-top parenting skills. Ace’s blue-eyed gal Xerces and Police Sergeant Zito “The Mosquito” are with him every step of the way. When the solution hits Ace “like a flyswatter,” a run for the money ensues through the Termite Tower of Terror, Anteater Falls, and House of Mirrors. Ace’s first-person narration and snappy dialogue are true to the hard-boiled detective genre, as is the cast of characters. The illustrations, done in pencil and digitally colored, fairly glow. The many insect references (“Flypaper Awareness Week” and “Keep Your Antennae and Legs Inside Ride”) in the colorful spreads are a true delight. Mystery fans and insect enthusiasts will enjoy a one-on-one reading with plenty of time to savor the clever wordplay and insect-related details. They will also want to find Ace’s first adventure, Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective.
—School Library Journal