Precocious self-styled Detective Flaca returns, now 11 years old, in a mystery set in Puerto Rico.
The second book in the Flaca Files takes Flaca and her family (including older sister “La Bruja”) to Puerto Rico for a week to celebrate Los Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day. Flaca learns that she’ll have to miss time from school, neglect pending cases, survive living with no air conditioning, wear mosquito repellent at all times, and face her fear of flying. Before boarding their San Juan–bound flight, she starts a file on what she deems a suspicious holiday (she’s certain the wise men don’t really ride flying camels) and makes a point to get to the bottom of it once in Puerto Rico. Vicente knows the Puerto Rican landscape well, taking readers beyond its well-known beaches to its mountains. Through Flaca's trenchant narration, readers get a fair sense of the new terrain, from the applause once the plane lands safely to the family gatherings to the coquí—a local tree frog known for its evening song. She neatly summarizes the holiday party as “eat, dance, talk, repeat.” In 56 pages, Vicente tackles Flaca's identity and general family values, but she does not recap basic details from her protagonist’s first outing, The Missing Chancleta (2013). The original English version occupies the first half of the book, and Baeza Ventura’s Spanish translation, the second half.
A mystery serving as a gateway into Puerto Rican culture, traditions, and panorama, narrated by a one-of-a-kind Latina gumshoe. (Bilingual mystery. 8-12)