A spunky heroine, intrepid feline, and dastardly thief are among the quirky characters in the new Adventures of Minnie and Max series from Gift (Lily's Crossing, 1997, etc.). Orphaned sixth grader Minnie (short for Minneapolis), lives with her brother Orlando, a peach fanatic as well as chef and owner of the Catfish CafÆ’. Rescuing a stray cat, Max, off the back of a pickup truck provides Minnie with her first case for her fledgling detective agency. With the assistance of Cash, a new boy in town, and the earnest but bumbling Officer Kitty, Minnie solves the mystery of the thief behind a crime wave in the area. Gift's fictional Sharkfin Bay provides a glimpse into the workings of a fishing community and an intriguing setting for Minnie's daring escapades. The straightforward, engaging text encourages beginning readers while the well-crafted mystery will entertain a more advanced audience. Minnie's deadpan narrative and funny misadventures will have readers clamoring for more.