cover image Kidnap at the Catfish Cafe

Kidnap at the Catfish Cafe

Patricia Reilly Giff. Live Oak Media (NY), $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87499-556-5

Lubotsky's right-on childlike voice breathes new life into Giff's (Lily's Crossing) chipper chapter-book whodunit. The debut volume of a new mystery book series introduces spunky young Minnie, an orphan living with her older brother, Orlando, in Florida. While Orlando runs the Catfish Cafe, Minnie finds ways to amuse herself--and earn extra money--by starting a detective agency now that school is out for summer. Her fledgling business gets its first case when a scrawny stray cat wanders into Minnie's life. She names her feline pal Max, and the two begin searching for Max's owner. Along the way, they team up with klutzy police officer Kitty and a new friend named Cash, and before long, the whole gang is looking to expose the sticky-fingered ""everything thief,"" who snatches purses and just about anything else. Lubotsky's eager-sounding voice and well-paced reading will keep young sleuths on this case. Ages 7-12. (Oct.)