The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent
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.