Cover image for Trouble is my beeswax : from the tattered casebook of Chet Gecko, private eye
Trouble is my beeswax : from the tattered casebook of Chet Gecko, private eye
Hale, Bruce.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Harcourt : Orlando, 2003.
Physical Description:
111 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Chet and his partner, Natalie Attired, investigate a cheating ring at Emerson Hicky Elementary school.
Reading Level:
520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.9 2.0 71760.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 5 Quiz: 33843 Guided reading level: O.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



When it comes to splitting dessert, Chet Gecko may cheat a little, but who's going to complain if Chet's half is more like two-thirds? He's never been good at math.
Still, there's a big difference between sneaking a bigger slice of stinkbug pie and sneaking the answers to Mr. Ratnose's history test. When a cheating ring is suspected at Emerson Hicky Elementary, Chet takes on the case as a matter of honor. Or of stupidity. It's so hard to tell the difference sometimes.

Author Notes

Born near Los Angeles and currently living in Santa Barbara, Bruce Hale has written nearly 20 books. Before becoming a full time writer Hale had a variety of jobs including deejay, gardener and actor. He also lived briefly in Hawaii, inspiring the setting for his books featuring Moki the Gecko. When not writing, Hale is often speaking at schools all over the country. Hale has also taught writing workshops at several colleges and universities and in 1998 received a grant to teach and study in Thailand.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Another Chet Gecko mystery by Bruce Hale unfolds in Trouble Is My Beeswax. A test-cheating ring is operating at Emerson Hicky Elementary, and Chet's pal Shirley Chameleon is being framed as the chief operator. Luckily, Chet and his mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, are on the case. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Children will definitely relate to this funny installment in the series. Investigating the theft of answers for a history test leads Chet to a ring of dishonest students at Emerson Hicky Elementary school. As he and his loyal mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, take this case to heart, they also throw out many one-liners and stabs at humor. It is inconsequential if readers fully appreciate or understand all of the humor because the story moves along smoothly and Chet's investigation techniques are clever, corny, and comical. The tale is told in an almost Mickey Spillane style; narrative is pretty much tongue-in-cheek, many character's names are perfectly hilarious, and snacks and treats are described in detail. This visit with Chet will be a popular choice.-Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Cheat, Stink, and Be HairyIt was no use, no use. I had followed a lead as thin as a dragonfly wafer until it finally petered out here, in a blind alley. Swiveling my head right and left, I could tell-I was trapped. A whisper of fear tickled my neck.Then it hit me-foom! A shapeless something, heavier than a heartache, dropped onto my head and shoulders, dragging me down...down...when-"Chet Gecko?" A voice cut through the red darkness."Are you with us?" said my teacher, Mr. Ratnose.What was he doing in the alley?My eyes blinked open. "Wuzza?" With a supreme effort, I raised my head."If you can't stay awake, I'll have someone pinch you," he said.Several voices tittered.Mr. Ratnose's classroom swam into focus. Kids, chairs, chalkboards, and cream cheese-Bo Newt grinning, Shirley Chameleon simpering. I was back at my desk, at school, facing down Public School Enemy Number One: boredom.It was a humdrum morning at Emerson Hicky Elementary. You ask yourself, How dull can it get? Then you go to Mr. Ratnose's class, and you find out.The school newspaper on the corkboard said it all: BOREDOM EPIDEMIC FLATTENS SCHOOL. No duh.Mr. Ratnose shot me one last glare, then scrawled some numbers on the board. He claimed to be explaining fractions, but he might just as well have been describing his vacation in Left Armpit, Arizona.I longed for something, anything, to break the monotony.He turned with a flourish. "And now, time for history."Anything but that.But the lean rat had a surprise in store. He grabbed a stack of papers with one hand and thwacked them against his open palm."They say, 'History repeats itself,'" said Mr. Ratnose. "But I sincerely hope yesterday's won't."Bewildered faces greeted his remark.Mr. Ratnose began pacing. "I'm referring, of course, to your grades on yesterday's history test. I am deeply disappointed in you."Igor Beaver, a teacher's pet's pet, raised his hand. "Wh-what do you mean, teacher?" he whined. "Did I get a bad grade?"Mr. Ratnose's whiskers bristled. "No, Igor," he said, keeping his voice even. "You got a good grade. In fact, far too many of you got a good grade."Igor gasped. "You mean...?""I do. We've got cheaters!" Mr. Ratnose waved the stack of papers."B-but how do you know?" asked Igor."Because," our teacher snarled, "I added a dummy question."I thought, Giving a dummy question to these dummies is like sending snow to Eskimos. But I didn't say it.Mr. Ratnose looked like he was ready to take a bite out of our tests. "It was a trick question-none of you could've known the answer. But too many of you did."He tossed the offending tests onto his desk. His gaze raked the classroom. "Look at the student on your right."Igor and Cassandra the Stool Pigeon looked right. The rest of us stared at our teacher, beaming confusion like a country-western station beams corniness."Look right!" snarled Mr. Ratnose.We looked."Now look left."We looked again.Mr. Ratnose bared his Excerpted from Trouble Is My Beeswax by Bruce Hale All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.