'Gadzooks!' said Dot ... 'The things that boy can do!'
Dot loves play-acting, dressing up her pet dachshund Piefke and making up words like 'splentastic'. Her best friend is Anton, who lives in a little apartment and looks after his mother.
They share a secret - every night, when their parents think they are asleep, they sell matches and shoelaces on the streets of Berlin with Dot's grumpy governess. But why?
The answers involve a villain called 'Robert the Devil', a club-wielding maid, a wobbly tooth, a pair of silver shoes and a policeman dancing the tango, as Dot and Anton get into all sorts of scrapes and even solve a crime in this delightful, touching and hilarious adventure story.
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Erich Kastner was born in Dresden in 1899, the son of a saddle maker and a maidservant. He was drafted into the army in 1917, and his experiences there were to influence his later pacifism. He published Emil and the Detectives in 1928 to great success. A sequel, Emil and the Three Twins, appeared in 1933, but soon afterwards his books were labelled "contraryMore about Erich Kastner