Adventure-loving Libby has travelled all over the world with her photographer mother so she is bitterly disappointed when her mum’s latest trip to Ecuador is a no-go for her. Instead, Libby is sent to her Aunt Agatha’s travelling boarding school that arrives in a new location for the start of each term, this time it is in Paris.
Despite some initial doubts, Libby is soon embracing all the school has to offer and is gorging her way through fabulous French treats. But trouble is lurking and when Aunt Agatha is accused of a crime, mystery-loving Libby searches for the truth to clear her aunt’s name…
Jo Clarke is a superstar in the world of children’s book blogging so it was awesome to see her write her own story and to be on the receiving end of some much-deserved praise. Her debut, Libby and the Parisian Puzzle, is a Parisian delight…a cracking adventure, a fun-filled mystery, the wonderful city of Paris and plenty of delicious macarons and pastries. What’s not to love?
There is something very exciting about a school that pops up in an entirely new place for the start of each term and Libby gets plenty more than just a cultural experience in the French capital. An avid reader of mystery stories, she finds herself at the heart of a puzzling series of events that sees her aunt accused of a crime that surely she wouldn’t have committed.
Along with new friend Connie, who has secret of her own, the two find themselves racing around the streets of Paris trying to piece the puzzle parts together. They are a fab duo, enthusiastic and chatty Libby with her inquisitive nature, keen eye for detail and sometimes impulsive actions; Connie, a tad quieter and taking her time to think things through. Like all good mysteries, there are plenty of shady characters lurking too, a man in the shadows, the lady in the peacock hat and a teacher acting suspiciously.
One of my favourite cities in the world serves as the perfect backdrop for this fast-paced mystery-solving adventure and the sights and landmarks are brought to life through exciting action that will have readers racing through the pages eager for the next clue. Cruising down the river Seine one moment, visiting the Louvre the next, and there’s always time to stop at a café for a patisserie and hot chocolate (my mouth is watering at the thought).
An intriguing mystery, a sprinkling of peril, a smattering of red herrings and a delightful boarding school experience make for a brilliant detective story for amateur sleuths who will thoroughly enjoy trying to unravel the puzzle alongside Libby. Perfectly pitched for children who love a good mystery story but are not ready for the scarier and higher stake reads such as High Rise Mystery and Murder Most Unladylike, Clarke’s new series is ideal for fans of Agent Zaiba and Max and Lori.
With the promise of further adventures in different cities, I cannot wait to see where Jo, Libby and the travelling school take us to next.
With huge thanks to Firefly Press for the copy I received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.