By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A cartoonist whose strip “Pearls Before Swine” runs in the Inquirer is out with his second book about a kid detective who might just as well be called a kid deFective.

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Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done is the latest in what could be a long series about a terrible kid sleuth inspired, says creator Stephan Pastis, by the boy detective books he read as a youth.

“Whatever you would read in that genre was always the same,” says Pastis. “They were always super-smart and they could solve anything so I thought wouldn’t it be funny to have a little kid who thought he was a brilliant detective but in truth wasn’t smart at all and could not solve anything.”

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Pastis says he finds time to write and illustrate the Timmy Failure books by working seven months ahead on “Pearls Before Swine,” and can switch gears over the summer to the next book.

Although they’re aimed primarily at 7 to 12 year olds, there’s enough clever content to keep adult readers amused, too.

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