Summary: Sisterhood of Sleuths
In Sisterhood of Sleuths, Maizy and her best friend Izzy are working on a film Maizy has named Shellfish Holmes, about a lobster detective. But Izzy seems bored with the project and even thinks it’s a bit childish. Izzy has also recently said she now wants to go by the more mature-sounding “Isabelle,” which Maizy doesn’t understand. Soon, Izzy ropes in two boys in their class (because she’s crushing on one) to join their project, but they completely derail things, going off Maizy’s vision.
Maizy’s life gets more interesting when a box of Nancy Drew books with an inscription to a girl with the same name as her grandmother (Susie, aka Jacuzzi). There’s also a picture of what appears to be a young Susie. When Jacuzzi denies sending over the box, Maizy reunites with a former neighborhood friend, Nell, to get to the bottom of the mystery. In the process, the girls learn a lot about Jacuzzi and the Nancy Drew books.
This was such a fun mystery! It surprised me over and over, and it’s packed with plenty of true history about the Nancy Drew books and the authors. Maizy is one of those protagonists whose confident in herself and her abilities and it was refreshing to see a protagonist who didn’t change herself to fit the mold, even when her best friend was changing. She reminded me a lot of Nolie in Where You’ve Got to Be.
The central plot of this story was the mystery — and it was very well done. Maizy and her friend need to find the connection between Jacuzzi and the Nancy Drew books, find out who left the books at her mom’s store and why, and connect the dots between that person, the Nancy Drew books, and Jacuzzi. It’s a fun ride.
Film-making is becoming a popular hobby in middle grade books (I’ve just finished Kayla Miller’s Crunch in which Olive gets into film-making as well), and I loved seeing the girls come up with an angle, a script and everything a good film needs. Their idea is fresh, fun, and enlightening for their audience.
Overall: Sisterhood of Sleuths
Sisterhood of Sleuths is a fantastic middle grade mystery about friendship, history, intellectual property, and film-making. It pays homage well to “Carolyn Keene” and the Nancy Drew series. The book offers well-meaning criticism for the racism and perfectly coincidental plots of the Nancy Drew books, while appreciating the power of the series to draw many readers together. If you like books with plenty of sleuthing, bike riding, and adventures, this is the one for you.