A Mystery at Lili Villa

Yali. Jul. 2021. 166p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781949528824; pap. $11.99. ISBN 9781949528817.
Gr 3-5–Mystery fans will find lots to enjoy in this fresh title set in India. When Tam’s aunt’s jewelry goes missing, she and her two cousins, Arj and Mira, team up to crack the case by investigating a parade of suspects who have recently visited the villa. As the sleuths investigate their subjects and learn their secrets, they gain a deeper appreciation for their suspects’ lives. The savvy mystery reader may pick up on the culprit early through carefully planted clues, but the richness of the setting and depictions of the memorable characters will keep them reading. Originally published in India as A Thud in the Night, the book includes a glossary of Hindi and Malayalam terms, including a relatively expansive (and delicious) list of foods in the book. Give to readers who enjoyed The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith or Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes.
VERDICT Purchase for medium to large collections or those in need of gentle, entertaining mysteries.

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