The Peacock Detectives

Carly Nugent

The Peacock Detectives
Text Publishing Co
28 May 2018

The Peacock Detectives

Carly Nugent

Winner of The Readings Children’s Prize 2019

The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do - she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery about her family.

The Peacock Detectives is a warm and engaging story for middle-grade readers about dealing with change and finding out who you are.


Cassie is a sweet and inquisitive 11-year-old girl who is known to many as a successful peacock detective. She has been chasing her neighbour’s escaped peacocks (William Shakespeare and Virginia!) all around the town where she lives in country Victoria, and this time she’s writing all about her adventures. It soon emerges that there is so much more going on in Cassie’s life than the couple of missing peacocks, and she finds herself trying to solve some pretty big mysteries about her family and friends too.

Although there’s a lot happening in Cassie’s life, this book is gently paced and carefully crafted so that things never feel too overwhelming for the reader. The story is also nicely peppered with all sorts of interesting information thanks to Cassie’s charming, fact-loving friend Jonas. This debut novel was shortlisted for the Text Prize in 2017 and it is perfectly suited to curious, thoughtful readers and budding writers aged 9–12.

Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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