Bad Machinery: The Case Of The Good Boy by John Allison is the second volume in the web comic series about the middle grade sleuths of Griswald's Grammar School in Tackleford, England (available March 12, 2014).
I have a huge weakness for John Allison’s Bad Machinery series. While I love most of his work, there’s something about his tales of two rival teams of young adolescent sleuths that makes them very dear to my heart. The girls’ team consists of the responsible, if poor, Shauna; her best friend, the irrepressible Lottie, and Mildred, the rebellious product of an extremely left-wing upbringing. On the boys’ team, you have quiet, handsome Jack; sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued policeman’s son, Linton, and sensible, resourceful Sonny, who is also Mildred’s cousin. Jack and Shauna are sort of dating, but careful to keep it quiet, partly in case anyone on their teams should take umbrage, and partly to avoid teasing from their wider social circles. Goodness knows, Sonny gets enough teasing just as a result of being related to Mildred:
Linton: Are you coming down to the park tonight?
Sonny: No, I'm busy.
Linton: Is it Naturecraft Folk? Leaf touching? A big night of leaf touching.
Sonny: We don't touch leaves.
Linton: NOT EVER?
Sonny: My cousin is coming round. I have to be in.
Linton: A play date! A play date with MILDRED! A tea party with hair brushing and teddies and pony stories!
Sonny (deadpan): Sometimes the pony stories are so good that we don't even get round to the hair brushing.
Jack: Are we going to solve a mystery soon? Other than the mystery of why Linton isn't going to have any friends soon. Because that's not really a mystery.