Book Review: LIBBY AND THE PARISIAN PUZZLE by Jo Clarke (Middle Grade Monday)

Title in white of colourful illustration of two girls on a blue and pink street
Genre: Mystery
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book


Book cover for LIBBY AND THE PARISIAN PUZZLE: title in blue and purple on scrolls around Eiffel tower above two girls in a brightly drawn street

Mystery-lover Libby is excited but nervous when she’s sent to join her aunt Agatha’s extraordinary travelling school in Paris.

Just when she is starting to find her feet Aunt Agatha is arrested, accused of a daring jewel robbery.

Can Libby and her new best friend Connie find the real thief in time to save her aunt?

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


LIBBY AND THE PARISIAN PUZZLE is a super fun mystery about a missing broach and Libby’s attempts to prove her aunt’s innocence – all while visiting the city of Paris.

Having read a fair few murder mysteries recently, it was so nice to read a mystery that wasn’t about a murder. Libby’s aunt is going to prison if Libby can’t figure it out and so there’s still plenty of tension propelling this tory along (this book proves you don’t need a murder victim to be a compelling mystery!) It also just felt like a nice change, something different.

I liked that two very suspicious people were set up. I had a hard time working out if one was a red herring (and if so, which one) or if they were both in on it together (and if so, how they were linked.) Two major suspects felt like a good number for a book this size. If there had been only one, it would have been less puzzling, but it being only two meant there was plenty of time to make them both deeply suspicious and yet not certain what they’re part was in it all.

Also the idea of a travelling school! How fun does the idea of a school that takes place in a different city each term sound?! The mystery happens around Paris landmarks and it makes for a great setting.

The illustrations! Having read a lot of YA recently, coming back to MG meant I got to return to the world of illustrations and they really add something special to books. You get to see the characters and action and clues (as a non-visual person, this is SO helpful!)

This is the start of a series, and I am looking forward to the next instalments (also looking forwards to perhaps getting to know Noah and Sebastian better – they were certainly my favourite of he secondary characters as bundles of energy. I am hoping for a mystery one day where they get drawn into the investigations.)

Read my reviews of other books by Jo Clarke:

The Travelling School Mysteries (this series):

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