Books by Muslim Authors, Diverse Books, Middle Grade Books, Muslim Shelf Space

Agent Zaiba Investigates – The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami – Book Review

This is a wonderful middle grade book where the main character wants to be a detective and it is perfect for fans of Nancy Drew.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Eleven-year-old Zaiba is obsessed with crime. Her Aunt Fouzia runs a detective agency back in Karachi and has turned Zaiba on to the brilliant Eden Lockett Mysteries. She has every book in the series – and the quilt cover, and the phone case. All she needs now is a crime to solve…

In book one, Zaiba is attending a family Mehndi party at The Grand Royal Star Hotel when she hears that the prized Italian Greyhound of a famous actress has gone missing from the star’s suite. With the help of her best friend and her little brother, the amateur sleuth manages to foil the petnapping plot and save the day.

Before I share my review can we take a moment to appreciate the cover because there is a young Pakistani girl in salwar kameez ON THE COVER. Kid me is jumping for joy right now!

I loved this book so much from all the Pakistani culture that was front and centre with a whole pre-wedding celebration and filled with all the beautiful traditions of a mehndi. The food, clothes and what happens at a mehndi was woven so seamlessly into the story and I loved seeing that. That my culture is in a book and it is celebrated and there is no judgement or hatred. I loved it so much.

The story focus on Zaiba, a young girl who is an aspiring detective and looks up to her aunt who runs a detective agency in Karachi. I loved that her aunt is also a detective and runs her own agency, she has a great role model to look up to who understands her dreams and goals in life. I loved the relationship between them both and how she listened and believed in her.

The story in which Zaiba, her brother and her best friend have to find out who stole the diamonds and why was really interesting and I loved how the three of them worked together and also knew each others strengths and worked accordingly. I loved how brave they were despite being so young and so resourceful. Their curiosity and intuition was so great to see and that it was nurtured! They had such a great friendship and sibling relationship and I am so looking forward to seeing more of them three together in the next book. The actual mystery itself was really fun and I loved reading and trying to work out the clues with the trio I loved how it was so much more elaborate than I initially thought and I loved that.

It’s definitely a book that kids will love. From the fun setting to the great mystery to keep them intrigued and the wonderful friendships and a main character who knows what they want to achieve and does her best to achieve it. I love this book and definitely recommend it for kids and adults alike! I cannot wait to dive into book two!

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