Idaville Detective 'Encyclopedia' Brown Found Dead in Library Dumpster

“Detective Brown’s death is a great loss,” said Idaville Police Commissioner Rupert “Bugs” Meany, a longtime critic of Brown’s unorthodox investigative technique who nevertheless appeared to be shaken by the murder. “Thanks to him, Idaville has the highest arrest-to-conviction-due-to-obscure-trivia rate in the nation. I believe I speak for everyone in Idaville when I say that Encyclopedia Brown was truly the greatest sleuth in sneakers.” —Idaville Detective ‘Encyclopedia’ Brown Found Dead in Library Dumpster (The Onion)

It looks like I don’t have to worry anymore about The Onion‘s poor naming conventions — they’ve fixed that problem. Still, I don’t know how long this link will stay up… so I’ll mention here that the story is written in the style of the sleuth stories they are spoofing. I got a rush of nostalgia when I saw, at the bottom, “For the answer to this story, turn to page 76. “

As a kid, I read these ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ books voraciously. My brother and sister both took back-to-back half-hour piano lessons. My mother would drop them off at the teacher’s house, and then we would go to the library, where I would load up on books.