Farewell, My Lunchbag: A Chet Gecko Mystery (Book #3)

by Bruce Hale

Other authorsBruce Hale (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2002



Local notes

PB Hal





Clarion Books (2009), Edition: First, 107 pages


When fourth-grade private eye Chet Gecko is called to catch someone who is stealing food from the school cafeteria, he finds himself framed for the crime.


Original language


Physical description

107 p.; 7.53 x 0.42 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This book was a real pleasure. Just as with the one I just read, this was funny and light while maintaining a plot that made me think twice on a couple of occasions. A real detective mystery pleaser! Highly recommended!
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Private eye Chet Gecko is called on to solve a case involving theft at his elementary school’s cafeteria. For the food-loving fourth grader, this case is right up his alley. But to solve it, he’ll have to deal with playground bullies, detention, a group project presented before parents, and
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more. Will Chet be able to solve the case before he gets into even more trouble?

This is another delightfully funny book in the series. It is chock full of puns and written very much in the style of old noir detective novels. While I’m not sure that all kids will get the latter, they will certainly enjoy the former. The humor really sells the series. The mystery itself is fairly predictable but there are enough red herrings for it to be a bit of a surprise for young readers.

That being said, there are a couple of questionable moments here and there. For instance, Chet is rather dismissive of women in general, with this sort of “oh, dames” attitude. There’s also a brief mention of a character being “mental“ as well as somewhat politically incorrect representations with the Nations of the World presentation that the students do. Also, there is a character who reportedly drinks ammonia, which is a bit of a dangerous thing to throw out there for children to read.

However these moments are brief snippets and don’t detract too much from the overall pleasure of the book. I would still feel comfortable recommending it to children looking for something funny, especially if they like mysteries.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
Chester the Gecko is hired by the head lunch lady to discover who is stealing food from the cafeteria but he ends up the main suspect. He knows he's been framed but how to prove it?

I love this series. I love the puns. Since he is a 4th grader, it sounds like Chester is a 1940's film noir PI
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narrator. He is so funny as are the pictures that pop into my mind when he says his lines. So much fun!
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½ (6 ratings; 3.8)
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