The Detective’s Guide to New York City is the sequel to Nicki Greenberg’s debut middle grade mystery novel, The Detective’s Guide to Ocean Travel.
In the first book, we were introduced to thirteen-year-old Pepper Stark and her friends—aspiring actress Norah and aspiring pastry chef Sol—as they solved a jewel theft aboard Pepper’s father’s steamship, the opulent RMS Aquitania, during a Transatlantic crossing in 1927.
Now, Pepper, Norah and Sol are together again in gritty, glamorous, Prohibition-era New York City, along with Pepper’s father (‘the Captain’), his new sweetheart, Emmaline, and her son, Elliott.
The group go sightseeing, dine at the exclusive restaurant Sol works at, and are looking forward to seeing Norah in her upcoming chorus role on Broadway… when a spanner in the works arrives in the form of fearsome food critic Anthony ‘the Shark’ Sharkey being poisoned at Sol’s restaurant… and it was Sol who had prepared his dessert!
With Sol’s job on the line—and Norah’s too, as she manages to get herself fired in the course of the investigation—Pepper, Norah, Sol and Elliott have their work cut out for them.
Just like the first book, this is a well-researched and riveting ‘whodunnit’ with a fascinating setting, thoroughly likeable characters and excellent writing. There are also layers of additional emotional depth in terms of Pepper’s jealousy over Emmaline’s place in the Captain’s life and fashion-loving Elliott’s struggle to be himself around his new friends.
With its sophisticated vocabulary and palpable danger (including guns), this book is perfect for confident readers aged 10+, particularly fans of Murder Most Unladylike, Enola Holmes and Adventures on Trains.