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Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers: 12/23/20
Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers by Shauna Holyoak is the start of a middle grade mystery series set in Denver, Colorado. For as long as she can remember, Kazu has wanted to be a detective. She's somewhere between Harriet M. Welsch and Nancy Drew. Her neighborhood and her parents are sick of her meddling especially now that she's getting older, and therefore more capable of getting into serious trouble.
Kazu, though, as a papergirl, is the perfect observer as dogs go missing. Someone is taking dogs from people's yards and they're getting bolder. Things become personal when the dog she's walking is taken right before her eyes.
This mystery works well because it has a strong sense of place. The Denver neighborhoods and streets are recognizable, albeit altered slightly here or there to make the plot flow better.
Observant readers will be able to solve the mystery. All the clues are there. There are a few red herrings too, but not too many. There's danger too for Kazu and her friends. It's a similar read, although for a pre-teen audience, as Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow (2020).
The book also sits at the marginalized home blue highway (666633) spot on the road narrative spectrum.
The second book is Kazu Jones and the Comic Book Criminal (2020).