Blog Tour: Q&A with Annabelle Sami, author of Agent Zaiba Investigates – The Missing Diamonds.
About Agent Zaiba Investigates – The Missing Diamonds.
Zaiba is at the Royal Star Hotel for her cousin Sam’s mehndi party when she learns that a VIP guest is staying in the hotel. Alongide her brother Ali and their friend Poppy, Zaiba sets out to learn the VIP’s identity. What they uncover is a whole lot more exciting.
A dog has gone missing. A very important dog with a diamond collar. More to the point, some unknown person let the dog off the lead. Zaiba, Ali and Poppy use the principles of the great fictional detective Eden Lockett to solve the mystery and save Cousin Sam’s mehndi party from being remembered as a total doggy disaster.
Agent Zaiba Investigates is fast-paced, funny, and it is also slightly lighter than some of the popular middle grade mysteries. Murder can be frightening – even fictional murder. A missing dog is more managable, especially with a team of dedicated agents on the case. The story also has a strong cast of characters, from the main characters right down to the passers-by. Every person in the story is so well imagined that reading it feels more like watching it play out. From emotional bride Sam to bossy, infuriating cousin Mariam, everyone is so memorable. This will make it a strong series because the reader will recall all the characters when they pick up the next instalment.
I offered a chance to put some questions to author Annabelle Sami, and her answers are worth reading for budding detectives and aspiring authors alike.
Thanks to Annabelle Sami for your time and to Stripes Publishing LTD for the opportunity.
Q&A with author Annabelle Sami.
Q. How did you decide what the mystery would be?
A. I worked with my friend Karen Ball at Speckled Pen on the storyline, and we both agreed that a mystery set at a mehndi party would be exciting! Hotels are perfect locations for hidden staircases and a variety of guests/ suspects.
Q. Will we hear more about The Snow Leopard Detective Agency in future adventures? Can you tell us anything more about its history?
A. Yes, Aunt Fouzia does tell Zaiba a little more about some of the cases the agency is working on. Of course it’s all supposed to be top secret, but Aunt Fouzia does occasionally let the odd detail slip.
Q. Zaiba’s family feels so real. Have you got any tips for aspiring authors about bringing minor characters to life?
A. Think about the minor characters in your book like the cast in a film. You want to make sure you have a wide variety of distinct characters, who all bring something different to the story. You should be able to ‘see’ every character, no matter how minor, in your minds eye. This means that when you’re writing them, they come across as fully formed, realistic, characters.
Q. What tips would Zaiba give to other young detectives?
A. Zaiba knows that being organised is key to a good investigation. That means taking thorough notes, photo evidence and making lists are all very important.
Q. Zaiba is inspired by her favourite fictional detective, Eden Lockett. Did any fictional detectives inspire your writing?
A. Nancy Drew will always be the ultimate girl detective! However, I also like Violet from the series by Harriet Whitehorn and the Murder Most Unladylike books by Robin Stevens.
Q. Please can we have a hint on the kind of adventures we might see next from Zaiba, Ali and Poppy?
A. Hmmmm, in the spirit of Zaiba, here’s a series of clues: 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of summer fun and a dash of a deadly ingredient!
My copy of Agent Zaiba Investigates – The Missing Diamonds was sent as part of a promotional blog tour. Opinions about the book remain my own.