Agent Zaiba Investigates The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book by the publisher.

This is one of the middle-grade books i’ve had my eye on for quite some time. I remember back in Feburary almost picking this up in a train station book shop (remember those things?!) and then immediately regretting not doing. It slipped out from my mind for a while until we announced our Crime readthon, hosted with Lois, and the lovely Charlie at Little Tiger offered to send us a copy to review.

Since the first installment of this middle-grade crime series was released, another has been added. Sophie will be reading and review this for you in the very near future!

Every so often i really enjoy a middle-grade read. There’s something incredibly calming and comforting about a book that is easy to read and fun. When that middle-grade is mixed with a crime topic, i’m pretty sure i’m going to enjoy it. The first story of Agent Zaiba follows Zaiba, her brother and friend Poppy as they race to solve a crime in a hotel of a family event. When diamonds go missing, Zaiba knows there’s no-one better to solve the case but her.

The story itself is filled with fun plots, action and adventure with a whole host of characters that are incredibly memorable and lovely to read about. These are probably some of the most memorable characters i’ve read about in a middle-grade novel in a long time. From Zaiba’s detective aunt, to her cool step-mum and the awful hotel manager, everyone is very different and has a good character to them. It also made the story rather amusing to see the different characters clash.

The crime felt quite complex for a middle-grade novel. Obviously not too complex, it was easy to understand, but not all the dots were connected straight away and it made you feel as though you were really figuring it out along with the team.

For me, the pacing was a little off, it could have been a slightly faster paced book, as the story didn’t fully kick in until the middle of the book. However the set up was quite intriguing and lead on well to the main event.

I have very high hopes for the next in the series, and it truly did entertain me. Zaiba is a wonderful main character, full of life and positivity, and acting a little too grown up for her age. She’s definitely a character that i would have looked up to if i was reading this as a child, and she’s a character that is really needed in the world.

If you’re buying fun adventure books for children with a passion for figuring it all out, The Missing Diamonds is the perfect book for you to pick up. Alternatively, if you like a middle-grade read and want something fun and quick, i definitely recommend picking it up for yourself. I’m excited to dive in to the second book in the series!

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