Someone is playing pranks on the community theater’s rehearsals of Alice in Wonderland. The Ba twins spring into action to solve this mystery before the play is shut down.
The third title in the Lark Ba Detective series begins at play rehearsals, where suspicious problems are showing up every day. The confusion and resultant delay are jeopardizing the entire play, causing everyone to be on edge. Both Lark and Connor have parts to rehearse, but they would rather find out who has removed the buttons from the costumes and taken the light bulbs from the makeup vanities. Their mixed-race family (Korean and Kenyan) is reintroduced but takes a back seat to the investigation. Lark’s personality, however, is full of curiosity and determination, leading readers down the rabbit hole of clues. Like any good mystery, the book offers a list of suspects, red herrings, organized clues, and a moment of truth. The plot and pacing slowly build through the rehearsals just as the production nears showtime. This realistic story involves finding someone caught in a difficult situation and the hard decision to tell someone in charge. It wasn’t a high crime, like stealing diamonds. But it also wasn’t an accident, like losing a key. When friends and family are involved, solving mysteries can be complicated.
As a multiethnic detective, Lark’s authentic success at sleuthing ensures her a place at the chapter-book table. (Mystery. 6-9)