National Book Award winner Polly Horvath puts a fresh twist on a typical theme—a young orphan placed with an older caregiver—in her delightful new middle grade mystery, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! Young Madeline might as well be an orphan. The only responsible resident on Hornby Island, off the coast of British Columbia, she changes the light bulbs while her hippie parents make sand-dollar jewelry. When her parents not only refuse to attend her fifth-grade graduation, which Prince Charles will officiate during his Canadian tour, but also refuse to buy her new white shoes to conform to graduation standards, Madeline decides to earn her own money.
After returning from a shift at the Happy Goat Café, Madeline discovers that her parents have been kidnapped by a band of foxes, who are looking for help in decoding secret family recipes before opening a bunny-processing factory. Just when all seems hopeless, Madeline meets Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, a pair of middle-aged rabbits whose passion du jour is detective work. Just as horse whisperers communicate with horses, the human girl can somehow understand these fedora-sporting bunnies.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny set out to find her parents in time for graduation. Their sleuthing leads Madeline in and out of trouble, but for the first time she feels taken care of. Aided by a smart car, Craigslist and never-ending breadsticks from the Olde Spaghetti Factory (because what town doesn’t have a chain Italian restaurant?), the bunnies do their work, all the while offering spot-on observations about human behavior. Horvath’s humor is a rare feat: a blend of over-the-top and smart that will keep both children and adults laughing to the bittersweet end.