The Spaghetti Detectives by Andreas Steinhöfel

All boys fantasize about being detectives…sleuths. I recently read “The Spaghetti Detectives” by Andreas Steinhöfel, and I found it to be a heartwarming mixture of comedy and real life from the perspective of a young boy who is not always accepted because he is different.
At first I was a little put off by a description of dirty string of spaghetti  and what relevance that actually had to the story.  However, I quickly realized that those sort of random things were all from this special young man’s mind. Rico is his name. His mom describes him as “special ”but that, “it’s not his fault.”

One of the greatest things life has to offer boys is a best friend. With a mother who isn’t around much, and a father who had died, Rico takes comfort in knowing his buddy Oscar will be with him and is a “proddity” like him.

With Mr. 2000 (the book’s villain) on the loose, no one can be too careful! It is better to stick together, like the smell of fish sticks on your clothes after you cook them… (as Rico says). The boys are after Mr. 2000, in the hopes that by catching him, they’ll save all the rest of kids who have been terrorized by him. That way, kids everywhere won’t have to be scared anymore.

I adored the word definitions Steinhöfel adds to the pages. It brings that comedic flair, and mixes in some fun as you are reading along. They made me smile. This is his first book printed in English and was awarded the Jungen Pris in Germany, which is a prestigious award there.

Once Rico and his interesting perspectives were wriggled into my mind, I began to understand him and how his brain seems to function like a cheese grater. I’m fortunate to have special kids in my life, who are close to me, and I believe they shouldn’t be treated differently because of who they are.  

As much as I enjoyed reading this book, more importantly, I found that by reading this book, I understood kids like Rico better as well.  Books like “The Spaghetti Detectives” with their expertly drawn characters of Rico and Oscar, will hopefully give readers a new tolerance amongst the rest of us human beings. There’s lots of books on spaghetti, or this book is available here and you can learn more about the book and its author at