The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues
When teenage art student Dickory Dock answers an ad in the paper to work for an artist named Garson, she didn't expect to be opening his door and sorting through a room full of costumes (disguises?), but that's what she ends up doing. Dickory thinks Garson is a phony, as well as a slick, untalented artist, but he begins to grow on her, especially after the local police chief employs Garson to help him solve some crimes. Adopting the persona of Inspector Noserag, and dubbing Dickory Sargeant Kod, Garson proves to be an innovative, if zany, detective. But readers already know that the police have solved these crimes-- so why are they involving Garson? And when Dickory herself is almost murdered, will she protect her boss, even though she knows he's involved?
As far as Raskin's mysteries go, this one isn't as satisfyingly complicated as most-- you might be able to solve it before Dickory and Garson reveal the final answer. Yet this is Raskin at her best-- kooky word play and scenarios built around a very real, very intriguing relationship. Dickory and Garson are characters not to be forgotten.