What's better than ninja's and detectives? Obviously ninja detectives! I am just wild about this book. The narrator is fantastic, and her dynamic with her father is so spot on. The mystery is, if not sophisticated enough for older readers, engagingly presented and satisfactorily resolved. In a way that means the adults aren't all idiots, even.
I had so much fun reading this and flipping back to the Ninja Tasks in the appendices. They will give my niece all sorts of terrible ideas! I may give her a blacklight and some other supplies along with this book!
And, after binging on several chapters at a time, while unpacking the dishwasher, I started unpacking the language and worldbuilding. This small town in Tennessee is written to include more diversity than most books aimed at adults. Which is actually realistic. I saw a couple of reviews that said that was way more diversity than a small town would have, and I can't even imagine what the fuck that's about. Most of this cast is white. There's one black family, one hispanic family, and one Chinese person - this is actually a little less diversity than I'd expect from my experience of actually fucking living in the fucking south. Lots of white people in some areas, but not all white people.
But whatever, racist reviewers who can't seem to handle even a small splash of color. That form of "realism" only exists in your racist fucking heads. Maybe you'd rather go watch the new Noah movie? You know, the one where everyone is white because the film makers didn't want to make it about race?
Add to that a variety of economic backgrounds, the hearing impaired character, and an occasional swing at gender norms, and how could I possibly not love this?
That she accomplishes so much in so simple a writing style shouldn't be impressive. But it is. Love, love, love this one. I hope there are several more - maybe from the POV's of the other characters!