Thursday, May 06, 2021

The Mystery in Manhattan (Kudo Kids #2)

Shibutani, Maia and Alex , Shusterman, Michelle and Yaoyao Ma Van As (Illus.)
The Mystery in Manhattan (Kudo Kids #2) 
May 4th 2021 by Razorbill
E Arc provided by Edelweiss Plus

After their adventure in Tokyo in The Mystery of the Masked Medalist (which I managed to miss), Andy and Mika are traveling from their home in California to New York City. Their father is a travel writer, and their mother is a sports reporter who is covering the NCAA tournament in Madison Square Garden. Their aunt and cousin live in the city, so they are also glad to visit them. Since their parents are busy, the kids plan on hanging out with cousin Jenny, who is taking a gap year after high school, and helping out her mother, who is a very busy stylist who is starting her own fashion line. Jenny is supposed to deliver the showcase piece of her mother's first show, but has managed to damage it slightly. She gets a friend at the Fashion Institute of Technology to repair it, but the dress goes missing! Even though security camera footage shows no one taking the garment bag out of the room where the friend put it, the dress is GONE. Looking for the dress takes the group all over the city, and the kids use their skills (honed in Tokyo and by reading The Westing Game!) to figure out what happened and get the dress back in time for the show. 
Strengths: I've been to New York City once and never need to go back, but it's amusing to read about. I love that a college age cousin is brought in to take the kids around town, so they can get into a little bit of trouble without parents, but stay safe. The fashion/stylist angle will appeal to a lot of readers. I liked the relationship between the two, especially the investigation of different activities in middle school that is making the siblings feel less close. The mystery has enough twists and turns without being scary. The cover is bright and appealing, and Shusterman should get more attention for her mysteries. (Somebunny to Love, Dead Air.)
Weaknesses: The celebrity authors are apparently figure skaters, so I kept waiting for something other than skating at Rockefeller Center to happen. 
What I really think: This is a solid mystery with lots of travel details that reminded me a bit of David A. Kelly's Ballpark Mysteries. I would definitely buy this for elementary school, but my readers want more bloodthirsty mysteries. Killer ghosts are the request of the day!


  1. I am surprised you don't remember them from the Olympics even if you aren't a figure skating fan? I am a big fan of the Shib Sibs and thought it would be fun to meet them at ALA Midwinter last year (the last event I traveled to - if I'd known my weekend in NYC and Philly would be my last trip I'd have stayed longer!) but then I ended up missing them. I lent the ARC of book 1 to my niece as she was the right age but it looked good.

    1. Have NEVER heard of them! I only get news from the paper, and always skip the sports section. The only sports news I can't avoid is anything to do with Ohio State.😏