Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective: A Modern and Witty Mystery (Not a Detective Mysteries) (Paperback)
Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective is a delightful narrative about a
mystery-solving child prodigy who, as an adult, does NOT want to be remembered for her past (hence the title). Sprinkled throughout are articles from newspapers reporting her exploits when she was 10 years
old, as well as her own short observational inserts about the people who keep poking around in her past. There's lots of non-intrusive detail about Charlotte's daily life - living with her mother as she is, and avoiding talking with her brother on the phone. She goes on dates with women she meets on social media, but never on a second date. She sees a therapist regularly. You know, it's you're typical I-used-to-be-famous-and-no-longer-want-to-be kind of story. Wait, did I say "typical?" No way! Especially when the blue land-line from her "detecting" days in the garage office rings (yes, her mother is still paying for it!) and her brother says very nonchalantly: "I have a case
for you." Now what? I love mysteries but this one kept me glued to the page. There's something about Lottie, excuse me... Charlotte that's so compelling I really wanted to know what was going to happen to her. And I found out. Now it's your turn!
“Charlotte is a delight.” —The New York Times
For anyone seeking to satisfy their Harriet the Spy, Encyclopedia Brown, or Nancy Drew nostalgia, this charming, entertaining debut based on the popular @katiefliesaway TikTok series stars a twentysomething former kid detective who’s coaxed out of retirement for one last case.
The downside of 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 twenty-five, 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 . . .
“Kept me guessing and left me with a warm and happy glow.” –Mary Robinette Kowal, author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning The Calculating Stars
“[A] rollicking debut…Charlotte is a delight.” —The New York Times on Charlotte Illes is Not a Detective
“A wonderful premise…Siegel’s dialogue is fresh and funny as the trio [of Charlotte, Lucy, and Gabe] takes on the case while also navigating relatable topics such as dating, queerness, job fulfillment, gender identity and the struggle to find reliable roommates.” —BookPage
“The reader is happy to follow where Charlotte leads….A solid mystery is served up, and Charlotte finds herself polishing old skills, not ready to not be a detective, after all.” —New York Journal of Books
“Siegel has whipped up an amusing premise and populated it with charming characters.” —Publishers Weekly
“Charming…Not since Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files has there been such a delightful literary marriage of endearingly quirky characters and deliciously dry wit. Fans of Francine Prose’s The Maid or Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells mysteries will equally embrace the arrival of Charlotte and her cohorts on the detecting scene.” —Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
“Notes of a Gen-Zer, with writing on the edge.” —Kirkus Reviews
“All clues point to fun in this queer, grown-up Encyclopedia Brown-style zany mystery. And, much like Encyclopedia Brown, you're gonna have to pay *very close attention* to the details if you're going to keep up with Charlotte Illes (who, of course, isn't a detective).” —Olivia Blacke, author of Killer Content
“For anyone who ever wondered how Nancy Drew or Encyclopedia Brown are doing now that they’re all grown up, former kid detective Charlotte Illes is here to tell you: Not Great. An immensely fun, voice-y read with a twisty mystery that is very relevant to today, I can’t wait to see what Charlotte (and Lucy and especially Gabe) get up to next! —Mia P. Manansala, author of the Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Award-winning Arsenic and Adobo
"There's a particular joy in reading a book and wishing you could be friends with the characters—Charlotte Illes is Not a Detective kept me guessing and left me with a warm and happy glow." —Mary Robinette Kowal, author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus Award-winning The Calculating Stars