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Girl’s Best Friend: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery

Review

Girl’s Best Friend: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery

Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair loves dogs, but she can’t have one because of her twin brother Finn’s allergies. Maggie and Finn live with their parents in Brooklyn, where they are tenants in a brownstone owned by the flamboyant Isabel Rose Fanini. A middle-aged former wealthy socialite, Isabel likes to talk non-stop about her ex-husbands and Broadway career. The landlady also has a habit of losing things, which Maggie has an uncanny knack for finding --- some in the most unlikely places.

Maggie’s dog-walking career gets its start one summer after Isabel hurts a knee salsa dancing. Isabel cannot care for her Irish wolfhound, Preston, so Maggie’s parents volunteer her services as a dog walker. Because she’s good at her job, it isn’t long before other neighbors hire Maggie. However, her mom and dad don’t know about her paying gigs. If they find out, she could get into trouble.

Keeping a secret from her parents isn’t Maggie’s only problem. Life at Fiske Street Junior High hasn’t been easy. Her former best friend, Ivy Jeffries, has ditched her and made new friends in Eve and Katie, who like to make fun of Maggie. But Maggie has made a few friends of her own at school and would really like to become better acquainted with her secret crush, Milo Sanchez, a new seventh-grader.

During and after school, Maggie imagines working up the courage to talk to Milo. In the past, she’s been reluctant to approach him, but one afternoon she decides she no longer wants to be the kind of person who stands around and watches others have fun; she wants to take charge and enjoy herself, too. Maggie believes dogs are a girl’s best friend because “you always know where you stand with them” and “dogs don’t suddenly ditch you for no reason, then trash-talk you behind your back.”

One afternoon, Maggie tries to strike up a conversation with Milo, but strikes out and embarrasses herself. To make matters worse, Ivy and her friends witness this humiliating experience, and Ivy makes fun of Maggie and her dog-walking duties, even though Ivy has a great mutt of her own. After Ivy’s dog Kermit is dognapped, she turns to Maggie for help. And Kermit isn’t the only pooch missing from Maggie’s Brooklyn neighborhood. It doesn’t take Maggie long to come up with a list of suspects, but one of them is somebody she cannot believe would stoop to such a crime.

GIRL’S BEST FRIEND is award-winning author Leslie Margolis’s first book in the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series. Disappearing dogs, a first crush, changing friendships and lots of surprises make it a fun read. This cute new series is sure to please middle-graders who love pets and mysteries, as well as readers who want to learn about big city living --- with brownstones, stoop sales and a preteen detective.

Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on October 25, 2011

Girl’s Best Friend: A Maggie Brooklyn Mystery
by Leslie Margolis

  • Publication Date: October 25, 2011
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1599906902
  • ISBN-13: 9781599906904