Mini-Review: A Mystery at Lili Villa by Arathi Menon

Cover Design: Shruti Prabhu


Cousins Arj, Tam, and Mira are spending their summer vacation in Elathoor, a little village in Kerala when their family home, Lili Villa, is broken into and some jewelry is stolen. The Terrific Three set out to solve the mystery but soon discover that there is no shortage of suspects. Is it Pinching Kodavis or Dumdumchecchi, the milking lady? Is it the mean fisherwoman who starves the cat or the retired nurse who owns a luxury car? Or is it Mani with his upside-down Russian secret? Who could the thief possibly be?

Inspired by her own childhood adventures in small-town Kerala, author Arathi Menon creates a cozy picture of village life, complete with a cast of memorable characters and a parade of mouth-watering food. Laced with tongue-in-cheek humor, this middle-grade charmer offers a window into a world where summer vacations are a magical time, free from rules and schedules, and where the only way to tell time is by keeping track of the snacks.13 

My thoughts

I’m confused what the artwork is supposed to mean that separates the chapters. I wish there was more context or it was connected to the story in some way.

Three kids with nothing to do ? Of course they are going to find adventure and mystery.

Arathi Menon provides both in A Mystery at Lili Villa. The trail of crumbs is actually interesting and fun. The kids get to eat different foods. They find out about different occupations. They discover secrets. It truly is an adventure.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

 “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Further Details:

Publisher: Yali Books, 9781949528800,  July 31st 2021 (Orig. pub. As A Thud In The Middle Of the Night (Mango Books, 2019)

Editor: Ambika Sambasivan

Settings: Bengaluru, India

Pages: 172


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