Half-Moon Investigations

By: 

Eoin Colfer

Number of Pages: 

290

Minimum grade level: 

4th

Fletcher Moon, also known as Half Moon due to his um, lack of tallness, is an investigator. This isn't something that most 12-year-olds can claim, but he has a silver-plated detective's badge and everything, thanks to the two-year online course from the FBI-trained Bernstein Academy. Besides the badge, he has a nose for trouble and a talent for sniffing out mysteries. He's a private detective, and a good one.

He starts small, with cases like discovering who took a fellow student’s new organizer, finding the principal's lost keys, and finding a popstar's lost lock of hair -- you can buy just about anything on eBay these days. Business is good, and Fletcher is building a nice little reputation and a nice little business. And then the Sharkeys get involved. The local crime family, the Sharkeys. Theft, piracy (just the musical kind), fighting, cutting class, and general, all-around hooliganism -- those Sharkeys. That’s when it all starts to fall apart.

Fletcher's detective badge is stolen. Then he gets beat up, and he's accused of arson. So he teams up with teenager Red Sharkey, who is trying to get out of the crime business, and he goes on the run from the police and his parents, dyeing his hair and disguising himself as Red's cousin, Watson. Then Fletcher and Red discover a secret organization dedicated to changing the world by getting rid of …boys. And then they break into the police department computers. And then…well, then I guess you'll just have to read Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer to find out what happens next.

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Fletcher has a number of informants and contacts who help him in his investigations, some of whom are adults. Why do you think they all agree to help him?
  2. A red herring is something that seems like a clue, but turns out not to have anything to do with solving a case. What red herrings did you think might be important? What real clues were you able to pick up along the way?
  3. The book has an overall funny tone, but deals with serious crimes like theft, arson, and assault. Why do you think the author chose to combine the humor and the serious subjects? Does having one in the book impact the other more, less, or not at all?
  4. Eoin Colfer lives in Ireland, the setting for this book. Did you notice terms or words that were unfamiliar to you because they are from a different culture? Why do you think the author and publishers left those details in for the American publication? Do you agree with their decision, and why or why not?
  5. Many of the characters in this book aren’t really they way they appear to be at first glance. List two characters that Fletcher thinks are one thing, but by the end of the book realizes are completely different, and explain.

If you liked this book, try

  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • Something Rotten: a Horation Wilkes Mystery by Alan Gratz
  • The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley
  • The Chet Gecko mystery series by Bruce Hale

Created in part with funds granted by the Oregon State Library under the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Oregon State Library.