Daring Detectives and Smart Spies

We have a lot of children at school who adore Harriet Whitehorn’s Violet mysteries and Fleur Hitchcock’s Clifftoppers series who are not quite ready to move on to more upper middle grade mysteries by Katherine Woodfine and Robin Stevens. I was struggling to find more lower middle grade mysteries, when I discovered that there was a whole new range of series due to be released. Today on the blog I’m sharing the first book in four brand new series perfect for any young budding detectives or spies.

Anisha Accidental Detective – Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann

Anisha Mistry longs for peace and quiet so she can read her favourite science books but there’s no chance of that with her loud and madcap family. Her Aunty Bindi is in complete meltdown about her forthcoming wedding, so when a secret ransom note arrives demanding the wedding is called off, Anisha knows it’s up to her to solve the case. Together with her best friend Milo they must find out who kidnapped the bridegroom and stop the wedding being a complete disaster. Hilariously told, this is a funny and lively mystery that is bound to entertain readers. Serena has assembled an brilliant cast of characters who bring this story to life. I particularly liked Anisha’s mysterious and mischievous Granny Jas and the twins Mindy and Manny who are determined to be as miserable as possible. Emma’s humorous illustrations capture perfectly the loud and chaotic goings on of the Mistry family. It is perfectly pitched for younger mystery fans looking for a fun and entertaining read.


Mickey and the Animal Spies – Anne Miller & Becka Moor

Mickey is a code-loving, book-obsessed girl who likes nothing better than having a complex puzzle to solve. So when she spies a code written on a strange poster on a bus one day, she can’t resist trying to crack it. When she unjumbles the message she discovers an extraordinary truth. A secret undercover organisation Cobra is looking to recruit new members and Mickey may just be what they’re looking for. But there’s only one problem, this is no ordinary set of spies, they are animal spies! Mickey soon finds herself drawn into a dangerous world of diamond thieves and dog-nappers. Can she solve the mystery before it’s too late? This is such a fun and original concept that Anne has created. I love how the book gives children the opportunity to join along with cracking the codes. Becka Moor’s illustrations are just perfection as always and really enhance the story.  Fabulous and fun, this is a brilliant step into mysteries for younger readers.


Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds – Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Daniela Sosa

Inquisitive Zaiba is always on the look out for suspicious activity, convinced there is a mystery just waiting to be solved. When she discovers a celebrity is staying at the hotel where her cousin’s Mehndi party is taking place she is determined to uncover their identity. Together with her best friend Poppy and her brother Ali, they begin their investigations  But when the celebrity’s dog disappears along with it’s priceless diamond collar, they soon find themselves caught up in a more complex mystery.  Can our clever trio save the day? I really enjoyed the mystery element of this story, the clues are nicely scattered through the story allowing the reader to piece them all together and help find the thief. The dynamics of the trio work really well and together they make for a resourceful and dynamic team.  Entertaining and engaging, a really satisfying mystery.


The Cure For a Crime – Roopa Farooki

Ali and Tulip do not like their mum’s new boyfriend Dr Sturgeon, he’s very odd and locks himself away for hours at an end. When their mum starts behaving very oddly and seems really sleepy and out of sorts, they are convinced he must have done something dastardly. Luckily for them having a doctor for a mum has allowed them to pick up some specialist sleuthing skills and they soon find themselves sucked into a sinister and strange mystery. Fast-paced and cleverly complex this is a mystery for more mature readers who want to get their teeth stuck into darker mysteries filled with danger and peril. The medical element of the story makes for an unique twist in this genre, encouraging children to become intrigued by the world of medicine.  Exciting and entertaining, this certainly keeps the reader enthralled right the way to the very last page.


Thank you to OUP, Stripes and Usborne for sending me gifted copies of these books. You can buy all of these books now online or from your local bookshop. Click on the title to buy,

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