Julieta and the Diamond Enigma
By The Horn Book
Narrator Julieta Leal smart, curious, and prone to causing unintentional trouble is thrilled to be accompanying her dad, an art handler at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, on a trip to Paris to collect some pieces from the Louvre on loan for a new exhibit. At first, Julieta enjoys visiting Parisian landmarks and (not) eating escargot; she also accompanies her dad on his work, giving readers intriguing behind-the-scenes glimpses of famous museums and palaces. But when the Louvre’s Regent Diamond is stolen, Julieta and her father are the prime suspects. Now Julieta needs to catch the thief and clear their names so they can make it home in time for the birth of her baby brother. Julieta’s dad is ‘honestly surprised at the amount of havoc a nine-year-old can cause in less than a week,’ but ultimately it’s Julieta’s eye for detail, love of Greek mythology, and tendency to act on impulse that save the day. Julieta and her family are Mexican American (‘the J in Julieta sounds like the hooting of an owl. Like whoooo-lieta’), and she is bilingual in English and Spanish (and even learns a little French). Readers of this debut author’s entertaining middle-grade mystery will appreciate the back matter, which includes a glossary and more information about the Regent Diamond and other works of art mentioned in the book, complete with photographs.