When instruments belonging to famous New Orleans musicians begin to vanish only weeks before French Quarter Festival, Detective Louise Bouchet of the NOPD turns to the undercover agents who have helped her before—her nephew, Wyatt, and his pot-bellied pig, Walter. With Wyatt’s keen powers of observation and Walter’s snout for crime, the exceptional pair has never failed to crack a case. And Walter works for peanuts. Literally.
Eleven-year-old Wyatt Charbonnet, who lives in the garçonniere behind his family’s Creole cottage, leads young readers through the French Quarter as he gathers clues to solve The Case of the Left-hand Trombone. His investigation takes him to The U.S. Mint, The 1850 House, The St. Louis Cathedral, Preservation Hall and other locations in the Vieux Carré. The adventure climaxes at Café du Monde when Walter, Wyatt, and some of their friends capture the crook in a porcine sting.
Written for children ages six through ten, The Case of the Left-hand Trombone is complete at 12,000 words. “Hoofnotes” at the end of each chapter provide background information to New Orleans’ historical landmarks. The book includes a map of the French Quarter with a key to the locations mentioned in the book, and instructions from Wyatt on how to care for a pet pig.
What others are saying about the book…
“Schrenk tells her tale with verve, a sly sense of humor, and a sure sense of history. The Case of the Left-hand Trombone strikes all the right notes as it follows the inquisitive Wyatt, the omnivorous Walter, and their trusty friend Jeanette on a caper across the French Quarter.”
—Jessica Dorman, director of publications, The Historic New Orleans Collection
“Meet eleven-year-old Wyatt, a kid detective who roams the New Orleans French Quarter with his pot-bellied pig. Together they try to solve the disappearance of instruments of some of the city’s famous jazz musicians. Children of all ages will love learning more about this historical city and, as a bonus, they’ll get tips on how to raise a pet pig! Great read!”
—Denise W. McConduit, author of the D.J. Series and New Orleans tour guide
“My students will soon be asking for more Wyatt and Walter pig stories. This book will capture their hearts!”
—Kathy Cannata, librarian, Audubon Charter School
“The Case of the Left-hand Trombone is a delightful musical caper set in New Orleans’ French Quarter. It’s a fun read for enthusiasts of young detectives and their pig companions as well as fans of New Orleans music. Anyone who has spent a substantial amount of time in the French Quarter will be impressed with the lovingly realistic description of its time-honored neighborhood haunts as well as the musicians and other characters who inhabit them (with the possible exception of the pig detective assistant).”
—Greg Schatz, New Orleans Musician
“Wyatt and Walter make for an unlikely mystery-solving duo in this younger grades elementary chapter book. Set in present day New Orleans, with 21st century knowledge, this story offers a surprising mix of humor, mystery and history- which makes for an easy read. Follow Wyatt, a young boy, and Walter, his pet pig, as the two work together to solve a case of missing instruments, all while learning about New Orleans history and vocabulary. Fantastic beginning chapter book for even the most reluctant reader. Perfect for grades 2-4.
—Christine Smith Dauterive, Librarian, Bissonet Plaza Elementary School
“This brought me back to my childhood reading Encyclopedia Brown books. The color commentary on the eccentricities of New Orleans with bits of history sprinkled in makes it clear that the author has both a great familiarity with, and affection for, the city. Great book for keeping young readers’ attention from beginning through the resolution of the case. “
—Jay roman, president Café Du Monde
“Such a fun mystery! My students will enjoy reading this book and learning some new things via ‘Walter’s Hoofnotes.’”
—Penny Mansfield, librarian, Corpus Christi Catholic School, Mobile, Alabama
“Rooted in a compelling plot and the endearing duo of Wyatt and his helpful pig, Walter, readers of The Case of the Left-hand Trombone are given the unique opportunity to explore the French Quarter not only as a tourist attraction, but as a historic and culturally significant neighborhood where people have been living for hundreds of years! As young Wyatt hurries to solve the mystery in his neighborhood playground, Ms. Schrenk’s clever tale highlights many of the best aspects of New Orleans culture—from food, music, and French and African heritage, to a laissez faire attitude that permeates the neighborhood even today. An enjoyable and sometimes hilarious read. Young readers will finish Trombone and assuredly start asking to go to the Quarter to retrace Wyatt’s steps.”
—Lily Elkins, Education and Outreach Manager at the Beauregard-Keyes Historic House Museum