Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective
A Modern and Witty Mystery
by Katie Siegel
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Pub Date 27 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 04 Jul 2023
Kensington Books, Kensington
For anyone seeking to satisfy their Harriet the Spy or Encyclopedia Brown nostalgia, this modern, witty debut based on the popular @katiefliesaway TikTok series stars a twentysomething former kid detective who’s coaxed out of retirement for one last case.
CALL 908-318-4612 FOR CHARLOTTE ILLES (NOT) KID DETECTIVE!
The downside about being a famous child detective is that sooner or later, you have to grow up . . .
As a kid, Charlotte Illes’ uncanny sleuthing abilities made her a minor celebrity. But in high school, she hung up her detective’s hat and stashed away the signature blue landline in her “office”—aka garage—convinced that finding her adult purpose would be as easy as tracking down missing pudding cups or locating stolen diamonds.
Now 25, Charlotte has a nagging fear that she hit her peak in middle school. She’s living with her mom, scrolling through job listings, and her love life consists mostly of first dates. When it comes to knowing what to do next, Charlotte hasn’t got a clue.
And then, her old blue phone rings . . .
Reluctantly, Charlotte is pulled back into the mystery-solving world she knew—just one more time. But that world is a whole lot more complicated for an adult. As a kid, she was able to crack the case and still get her homework done on time. Now she’s dealing with dead bodies, missing persons, and villains who actually see her as a viable threat. And the detective skills she was once so eager to never use again are the only things that can stop a killer ready to make sure her next retirement is permanent . . .
Average rating from 102 members
I grew up reading Nancy Drew, so when I read that it was a blend of it and Harriet the Spy, I was hooked! Quick, fun read.
“Nancy Drew” was the first book series I read as a child, and, if memory serves, I did read all fifty-six of them. Maybe it was because the back cover copy tells us that it is nostalgic (albeit a much younger nostalgia than mine) that Nancy resurfaced in my memories. Still, it was fun to relive those wonderful days of lying on the couch consumed with the latest un-putdownable episode that evoked such warm feelings for Charlotte.
When Charlotte “Lottie” Iles was ten years old, she solved a small mystery at her elementary school. She became an overnight sensation and was soon helping lots of people solve little mysteries at school and in the community.
But now Charlotte is twenty-five years old. She is unemployed, lives with her mom, had no love life and a small social life. She is worried that she has “peaked.” But the universe is giving her one more chance to get her act together.
It seems that the company where her brother’s girlfriend, Olivia. works is trying to organize. Seems outdated in 2023 that unions are still considered a threat and that companies will do anything to stop it. But once I started reading this book, I saw it everywhere on the news. And so a dead body of one of the other employees turns up. But that’s not the thing that captures Charlotte’s attention. It’s the murder and the disappearance of Brian, one of Olivia’s co-workers that lures Charlotte back into detecting. Joined by her two best friends, Lucy and Gabe, the trio pits their heads together and gets to work.
A cozy mystery disguising itself as a mystery, this mixture of past and present amateur sleuthing gives “Charlotte Illes is Not a Detective,” a wonderfully innocent, yet amusing, aura that last until all the mysterious elements are resolved.
Therefore, “Charlotte Illes is Not a Detective,” received 5 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.