cover image Girl's Best Friend

Girl's Best Friend

Leslie Margolis, Bloomsbury, $14.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-59990-525-9

In the first book in the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series, Margolis (Boys Are Dogs) introduces dog-walker Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair, a 12-year-old whose middle name proclaims her parents' move from Manhattan to Brooklyn, which was necessitated by the birth of Maggie and her twin brother, Finn. Filled with authentic borough references, the book opens with standard tween concerns—getting the courage to talk to a crush, fuming over a friend's betrayal—and slowly develops the mysteries Maggie must solve. The principal whodunit concerns a dognapping, and dogs are key characters in secondary story lines, which include the progression of Maggie's crush and the increasingly strange behavior of her eccentric landlady. Margolis tries to make up for the dawdling start (the main mystery isn't introduced until nearly a third of the way in) by including a few red herrings and then rapidly tying up all the loose ends in a speedy, though credible, resolution. Maggie is a friendly and thoughtful narrator with a sharply logical mind; readers who stick with her through the opening chapters will appreciate her intellect and bravery, and applaud her success. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)