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Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Poison Plot – Annebelle Sami

Determined to be the world’s greatest detective, Zaiba is always on the lookout for a crime to solve!

Zaiba can’t wait for the school summer fair where she’s going to run a detective trail to help train other potential agents! But when the head teacher is poisoned during the highly competitive cake competition, Zaiba’s own skills are put to the test. With a whole host of suspects and a busy crime scene, Zaiba needs to stay focused if she’s going to get to the bottom of the cake catastrophe…

This book had all the joys, mysteries and friendship that the first book had but with added cake! I absolutely adored it and cannot wait to read more in the Agent Zaiba Investigates series in the future!

Once again we see Zaiba, Poppy and Ali team up to solve a mystery that is surrounding their school summer fair. We learn more about Zaiba, her quick wit and skills when it comes to searching for clues and solving a mystery. We see more of her friendship with Poppy which was so lovely to read about. Also we get to see more of my favourite character, Ali! Ali is once again a staring role in this book and not just the younger brother and I love that!

Just like in The Missing Diamonds, the mystery isn’t a simple one to figure out despite it being a middle grade book. I didn’t solve it easily! There are clues throughout the entire book to help the readers solve the mystery alongside Agent Zaiba and her detective team. Again, if you are paying close attention to the details you can even solve the mystery before Zaiba and the team do.

This book series has such excellent representation for separated families. Zaiba has a step mum who is shown in a positive light, shows love to Zaiba and always includes her. There is no ‘evil step parent’ trope in this book and I love that because it shows how so many step parent love their children equally regardless of if they are their biological child or not.

Something I didn’t touch on for my review of the first book as well as the second book was how much I loved the little exclusive extract based on the book Zaiba is reading in the story. In this book it is the Flower Show Felony by Eden Locket. This is alongside Ammi’s advice on how to be a great detective, code breakers and even a cake recipe. These all make this book so much more interesting for young readers, bring the story alive and I love it!

I have to mention the illustrations by Daniele Sosa again because I love them so much. They really help to bring the story to life and they are so much fun!

Overall, this instalment of the Agent Zaiba Investigates series is a lot of fun, has a wonderful mystery throughout and brought a smile to my face! I highly recommend this series to anyone whose children like detectives and mysteries. Also, any adults who want a fun, quick and sweet mystery book this is the one for you!

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