candyA tasty detective story with a deliciously sweet ending

Candy, by Lavie Tidhar, is a tasty detective story with a deliciously sweet ending. A modern twist on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 12 year old private detective Nelle Faulkner has a visit from one of the kids running the candy racket in a city where sweets and chocolate are outlawed and a heathy black market has risen up from children’s sweet cravings. The city’s answer to Willy Wonka, Farnsworth, has disappeared after prohibition of all things chocolatey yet candy is coming from somewhere, being consumed in secret while his factory lies abandoned.

A teddy bear creates gang warfare

A fun concept that engages from the start; Nelle talks us through her case with acid humour. Eddie DeMenthe, a candy ganster, asks her to help him find his teddy. This teddy takes Nelle on a rip roaring adventure through the city and sewers wading through gang warfare as well as the high life where corruption infects the adult political world. Nelle, with her determination to uncover the truth, comes up against some evil characters and I was particularly fond of the two bent police officers Webber and Tidebeck.

Great for younger readers

The short chapters and sentences make this an excellent book for younger middle grade readers along with Mark Beech’s vibrant illustrations that bring the story alive. I particularly like the shining cover that will attract sticky fingers in any book shop!


Lavie Tidhar
Mark Beech

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