Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Poison Plot by Annabelle Sami & illustrated by Daniela Sosa

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Poison Plot is the second brilliant book in the Agent Zaiba mystery series for children age 8+. The first, The Missing Diamonds, was published by Stripes Publishing in February 2020.

It’s the day of the school summer fete – Zaiba’s favourite day of the whole year! There will be treats, games and even a baking competition! She and her best friend, Poppy, are so excited to be organising the Detective Trail with costumes, clues and a chance for the other children to learn all about solving mysteries.  

Zaiba has learned from her Aunt Fouzia, the best detective in Pakistan, that a crime might occur when you least expect it. Today is no different. It all goes wrong in the baking tent when someone is poisoned! Zaiba and the Snow Leopard Detective Agency (UK branch) spring into action and take on the case! Using their keen observation skills, Zaiba and her friends soon identify suspects, motives and opportunities to commit the crime. There is no shortage of clues and red herrings for them to investigate. In classic Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew style, these super sleuths waste no time unearthing mysterious behaviour and suspicious characters. 

This story is a master class in using logic, wit and observation to make sense of the world around you. It is a celebration of being clever and using your brain to solve problems. The use of strong female characters provides fantastic role models for all children. They are powerful and intelligent, showing just how much they can achieve as the mayor, headteacher, medic and top detective. There is no question that girls can do anything. The diversity of the characters is another strength of the story. Friendship and community take centre stage as the children work together to solve the mystery.

The Agent Zaiba series promises to be a great collection of children’s mysteries – ones to be read again and again.

Thank you to NetGalley and Stripes Publishing for this fantastic book! It will be published in July 2020.

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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