From School Library Journal
Grade 5-8–Tim Diamond, a clueless London private detective, and his intelligent 14-year-old brother, Nick, are down on their luck again. Surprisingly, they receive a job just before Christmas to protect a gorgeous Greek celebrity singer named Minerva from recent death threats. Turns out, she is a coldhearted beauty who only cares about two things–money and Minerva. When shots are fired and a body is found strangled, all kinds of trouble ensues between Minerva, her aging husband, her manager, the Diamond Brothers, and the police. There are a few suggestive references to Minerva's appearance and her silver-plated breasts but nothing more racy or graphic. The witty banter between the characters keeps this short novel moving at breakneck speed. Tim's literal misinterpretations of everything are absurdly funny, and Nick's skill at solving the crime before anyone else, including the police, is entertaining. Horowitz is a master of tongue-in-cheek wit and groan-worthy puns that both sophisticated young mystery readers and older fans will enjoy.–Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library
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Canny young private detective Nick Diamond and his hilariously clueless older brother, Tim, stumble their way through another slapstick caper—this time protecting a gorgeous but self-absorbed international pop star from an anonymous killer. In London to make appearances at various Christmastime events and to promote her new single, the dazzling Minerva (blond hair, green eyes, “lips that looked like they could suck in a horse”) has received a pair of cryptic death threats. The Diamond brothers spring into action, which generally means winding up flat on their faces or in the clutches of brutish police officers Snape and Boyle. There is a murder, but it’s offstage, and ultimately, they pull off a climactic rescue amid the holiday chaos at Harrods and nab a bad Santa. The riffs on renowned crime novels and films lie thinner on the ground here than in previous episodes, but this, too, will be perfect for Chet Gecko graduates. Grades 4-7. --John Peters
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