cover image Tokyo Heist

Tokyo Heist

Diana Renn. Viking, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-670-01332-6

Renn’s fun debut takes a kitchen-sink approach, throwing together romance, mystery, and action in a way that echoes the manga that 16-year-old Violet loves to read (and hopes to create herself someday). While spending the summer with her absentminded artist father in Seattle, she finds out about the theft of some van Gogh drawings owned by her father’s patrons, Kenji and Mitsue Yamada. Drawn into the mystery of the theft, she fights with her best friend (and crush) Edge, runs into members of the yakuza, ends up in Japan with her father, and teams up with her friend Reika to search Tokyo and Kyoto for both the van Goghs and the painting they inspired. Renn keeps the action moving briskly, and if she hews to a few clichés (Violet’s manga-inspired “it’s more romantic to hide your feelings” approach to Edge is a prime example), the action, mix of genres, and large cast of characters always keep things interesting. Fans of mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this just as much as fans of Japanese culture. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor. (June)