My first thought when I initially read the blurb of Agent Zaiba Investigates was, 'great, another new detective series in an already crowded middle grade detective market'. From the likes of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine, Sharna Jackson and Sophie Cleverly the craze for children's book riddled in mystery, mayhem and even murder has become more popular than ever. But what really drew me to this book was Agent Zaiba herself - a young Pakistani protagonist whose passion for mystery and crime is what connects her to her cultural roots.
The shocking statistics of the lack of BAME characters in children's books was enough for to want to put the brilliant Agent Zaiba and her investigations into the hands and hearts of every child. So refreshingly timely is this book that I found myself immediately absorbed into the story of a dynamic trio of detectives and their mission to solve the case of the missing diamonds.
Set in an extravagant hotel during Zabia's cousin's Mehndi party, Zabia gets her first chance to put her sleuthing skills to the test when a VIP's precious dog mysteriously disappears, along with its priceless diamond collar...
Led by determined Zaiba, and joined by her little brother Ali and sidekick and best friend Poppy, Annabelle Sami has created three wildly intelligent and unique characters who when combined make one superb team. Highlighting the importance of teamwork, courage and encouragement, young readers will enjoy navigating hidden staircases and mysterious mazes in this well crafted narrative.
Dotted with beautiful illustrations by Daniela Sosa throughout, I for one cannot wait for Zabia's next investigation - Agent Zabia Investigates: The Poison Plot is out summer 2020!