We’re very happy to report that Lavie Tidhar‘s THE CANDY MAFIA has been nominated for the 2021-2 Magnolia Book Award! The novel, published by Peachtree Publishing in North America, is the author’s first for young readers and is a crime/mystery/noir. Here’s the synopsis…
Twelve-year-old private detective Nelle is swept up in a world of candy smuggling in this humorous middle grade mystery from World Fantasy Award-winner Lavie Tidhar!
Nelle Faulkner is a preteen private detective who solves cases from her mother’s garden shed. She also lives in a city where the mayor has prohibited candy and kid-led candy gangs are thriving.
So when notorious candy gangster Eddie de Menthe asks for her help finding a missing teddy bear, Nelle Faulkner is on the case. But when the teddy turns up, Eddie himself goes missing, and Nelle and her friends quickly find themselves swept up in a shady underworld of sweets smugglers, back alley deals, and storefront firebombs.
If Nelle has any hope of tracking down her missing client, she’ll first have to unmask the true faces behind the smuggling ring. Can she and her friends find a way to take the cake? Or will they come to a sticky end?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Bugsy Malone in this entertaining, action-packed mystery from World Fantasy Award-winning author Lavie Tidhar. With moody illustrations by Daniel Duncan, readers will be instantly pulled into the fun.
The novel is also available in the UK, published by Scholastic (as CANDY), and is also available in Germany, France, Poland, Czechia, Poland, and Italy.
‘It won’t take a detective to spot Willie Wonka, as well as Sam Spade, hidden in the tongue-in-cheek caper’s literary DNA.’ ― Booklist (Starred Review)
‘Delicious pastiche of “noir” fiction from SF author Lavie Tidhar, set in a city where everything sweet and sugary is banned. Private eye Nelle searches for a lost teddy bear and uncovers a Chinatown-style conspiracy. You could think of it as The Malteser Falcon, or perhaps Double Inde-mint-y.’ — Financial Times (Summer Books of 2018)
‘Noir tropes loom large in Tidhar’s fast-paced story, with a gutsy gumshoe, a hardboiled narrative voice (“I needed a job even worse than I needed a caramel fudge”), and enough action to keep young readers on their toes.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘Candy is one of those books that do not take children and teenagers for fools. The story is able to change shifts, thanks to lot of humour, to more serious subjects. Of course, we can enjoy it at any age. If possible, the book should be served in place of dessert.’ — Geektest (France)
‘Due to the wonderfully fluent writing style, the pleasantly short chapters and the rousing plot, I devoured the book in record time. For girls and boys from the age of 10, who like to read exciting, funny, imaginative detective stories, “Secret Agent Candy” is just perfect. I really hope that this is a start of a series and we will soon be able to solve their second, tricky case together with Nelle… Exciting, funny, bizarre and just awesome!’ — Die Bücherwelt von CorniHolmes (Germany)
‘CANDY is the case when a children’s book can actually be interesting at any age. Children will appreciate the plot and humour, adults – a lot of references scattered throughout the text and how unexpectedly and funny elements of the classic “cool” and noir detective story are refracted, if you put them in the context of a children’s literature. Fun, playful and exciting.’ — Fantalab (Russia)
‘Written in the style of the hard-boiled American detective fiction of the 1940s, this is a juggernaut of a tale with plenty of twists and turns. A challenging read for ages 10+ who enjoy suspense coupled with a dry sense of humour.’ — West Sussex Schools Library Service