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Friday, November 7, 2014

Interview: Martin Widmark, author of the Whodunit Detective Agency Series

I'm so honored to have internationally bestselling children's author Martin Widmark here today to chat about his super fun Whodunit Detective Agency series. These awesome books are perfect for the mystery loving little readers in your life...

The Whodunit Detective Agency, which has sold over 1.6 million copies in Sweden and 2.5 million worldwide, has been translated into almost 30 languages, been adapted for TV and film, and is currently the subject of a year-long exhibition at Junibacken, an interactive museum in Stockholm celebrating Swedish children’s literature. The series follows best friends Jerry and Maya, who, in their spare time, run a detective agency in their small town, and are frequently called upon by the town’s police chief to save the day.

The Diamond Mystery
(The Whodunit Detective Agency #1)
by Martin Widmark
Grosset & Dunlap

Somebody is stealing diamonds from the jeweler Mohammed Carat! It looks like the culprit is someone on his staff, but who? Is it Luke Smith, the recently hired fitness fanatic with a taste for the finer things in life? It surely can’t be Vivian Leander, the loyal shop assistant who is now short of money . . . The police in the little town of Valleby are stuck, so they contact young detectives Jerry and Maya, classmates who run their own detective agency. Will Jerry and Maya be able to use their detective skills to find the thief? As they well know, even a tiny clue is worth its weight in gold.

The Hotel Mystery
(The Whodunit Detective Agency #2)
by Martin Widmark
Grosset & Dunlap

It is Christmas Eve, and the grand Braeburn family has come to stay in the luxury suite of Valleby’s hotel. With them, they have brought their extremely valuable dog. The hotel manager promises the family that he’ll take great care of their dog—but before they know it, the dog has gone missing without a trace! Jerry and Maya, the local young detectives, are brought in to help sniff out the missing hound. All the evidence suggests that one of the hotel staff had a hand in the case, but who could it be?

What three words best describe your series, The Whodunit Detective Agency?
Humorous, engaging, accessible.
Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give The Whodunit Detective Agency a try?
The books are easy to read, but not so easy to solve!

Grab a copy of the first book in this series, The Diamond Mystery, and answer the following:
favorite chapter?
Chapter 8: In which we may follow how the detective brains of Jerry and Maya have worked.

favorite page?
66-67: In which we can see how Helena Willis, the illustrator, summarizes the crime committed in one spread.

favorite setting?
At Mr. Carat´s office where there are pools of tears on the floor.

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
“Don’t you have something else to do besides snoop on me?” (p.43)

Can you tell us a bit about your characters Maya and Jerry? What makes them special?
They are normal kids, good friends, but have a passionate interest of solving crimes. They see the adult world like I saw it when I was a child, a light-crazy, exaggerated version.

How do you come up with the mysteries for Maya and Jerry to solve? Are they completely made up or are any of the mysteries based on fact?
I look upon all places as possible crime scenes. Most of my books are influenced by “reality,” but my own version of it. For instance, I came up with the idea of how to steal the jewels in The Diamond Mystery when I was working on my summer house.

Jerry and Maya have solved many mysteries throughout The Whodunit Detective you have an absolute favorite?
The Circus. The motive for the crime is moving, I would say.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Being curious
I’m really embarrassed to admit That I am not always listening when people speak.
The last great book I read was 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Where is his Nobel Prize??

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by The Whodunit Detective Agency, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would look like a normal cup cake, but taste like a meatball – and the mystery would be called “The Animal Rights Mystery.”

Thank you so much for stopping by, Martin!

Martin Widmark was born 1961 and lives in Stockholm with his family. He worked as a middle school teacher and as a teacher of Swedish to immigrants - and he has written several textbooks - but is now a full time author of children´s books. He is fascinated by oddities and everything that is different; food, music, languages and people. Widmark is considered one of the giants of current children’s fiction. Martin Widmark´s Nelly Rapp and Lasse Maja series are always on the best seller lists and have also received a lot of lavish praise.

1 comment:

Michael G-G said...

I love learning about other authors, especially international ones. Thanks for being such a great resource, Aeicha.