In a city where candy is a crime and sugar is scandalous, Nelle Faulkner is a 12-year-old private detective looking for her next client…
Enter Eddie de Menthe, a candy bootlegger who claims a teddy bear was stolen from his secret base in an abandoned playground. Nelle loves chocolate as much as the next kid in town, but she isn’t sure she wants to get involved with an illegal smuggling ring. But what’s the harm in helping a kid find his teddy, even if he is one of the most notorious gangsters around?
When Eddie himself goes missing, what starts as a routine investigation quickly escalates as Nelle realizes the corruption runs deeper than she had ever anticipated. Facing a myriad of shady characters, including candy boss rivals “Waffles” McKenzie and Mary “Sweetcakes” Ratchet, our private eye realizes that life isn’t fair but ought to be, and she’s not going to let anyone underestimate her—not even the meddlesome cops who seem to be lurking around every corner.
World Fantasy Award-winning author Lavie Tidhar deliciously combines the moodiness of noir mystery with the whimsy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, underscored by Daniel Duncan’s black and white cartoon illustrations. Candy-themed humor, high-stakes action (firebombs, food fights, and break-ins!), and gumshoe Nelle Faulkner’s no-nonsense attitude make this middle grade a perfect classroom or family read-aloud. Fans of mystery looking for a unique twist will love The Candy Mafia, where kids rule the playground and the underground.
If you don’t mind a cliffhanger, meet Nelle and Eddie in this first chapter excerpt!
“Snappy dialogue… Food fights, an abandoned candy factory break-in, and more sweets-themed antics add to the fun and intrigue…. Combining chewing gum and gumshoes, this comical mystery begs to be read aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Noir tropes loom large in Tidhar’s fast-paced story, with a gutsy gumshoe, a hardboiled narrative voice…and enough action to keep young readers on their toes.” —Publishers Weekly
Brush off your trench coat and grab your magnifying glass—The Candy Mafia hits the shelves this September at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our brand-new Fall 2020 titles as well as our picture books and middle grade titles coming to Peachtree this season in paperback!