By: Nicki Greenberg
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: Affirm
Published: 28 Jun 2022
ISBN: 9781922711748


Pepper Stark could not be more thrilled to return to New York City with her father, the Captain. Not only will she be back in the place where her late mother once lived but also she'll reunite with her friends Norah and Sol. But Pepper's excitement for her trip fades when the Captain invites along his new friend Emmaline and her son, Elliott. Still, Pepper is determined to make the most of her time with her friends in the Big Apple, revelling in the energy of the city that never sleeps.

But when dinner at the swanky restaurant where Sol is working ends in the suspicious illness of notorious food critic Anthony 'the Shark' Sharkey, Pepper finds herself entangled in yet another crime. With only a week before she has to return home, Pepper, Sol, Norah and a reluctantly recruited Elliott are facing an even bigger challenge than the Saffron Diamond mystery, and the stakes have never been so high. If they don't find the culprit, Sol's chef career could be over... or worse.

And New York City might become the place where all of their dreams turn to dust. From the bright lights of Broadway to back-alley speakeasies, Nicki Greenberg has brought 1920s New York City to life in this delightfully thrilling mystery set in the same world as The Detective's Guide to Ocean Travel.

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Pepper Stark is so happy to back in New York, and to see her friends Norah and Sol. But joining Pepper and her father on this trip is her father’s new friend, Emmaline, and her son, Elliott. This part Pepper is not so thrilled about.

The reunited friends quickly find themselves caught up in a mystery when the famous restaurant critic, Anthony Sharkey, falls ill after eating at the restaurant where Sol was working, and where they all attended  dinner on the same night. He is not just ill, he was also poisoned. But who would want him gone?

When things don’t look so good for Sol or his pastry chef and friend, Chef Schnabel, Pepper and her friends decide that they need to do their own investigating, as the police seem to have only one suspect in mind.

They soon learn that the list of people who could be suspects is long and varied. How are they are going to solve this mystery without getting themselves in trouble?

Pepper and her friends are delightful characters, whose loyalty to each other is unwavering and is a real highlight of this book, and when Pepper finally opens up and lets Emmaline and Elliott into her life she realises that maybe she has misjudged them completely.

Set in the 1920’s, this book really does highlight all that was New York at the time! From Broadway, the restaurants, the high society functions, the tourist attractions and the secret clubs, this book really does transport you there.

Although references are made to what happened in The Detective's Guide to Ocean Travel, it certainly is a stand-alone title that will be enjoyed by those in upper primary and lower secondary.

Reviewed by Sam