Queen Bee's Mystery In The Lilac Tree


When Detective Brown (a bee) learned that Luckie Louie (a bug) had been squashed on the street, he immediately set to work. The first two clues - a glove and a feather - led him to suspect foul play. When he got stuck, he decided to invite Louie's friends to lunch. Could they help him solve the case?

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

This rhyming story offers kids a mystery to solve and, in the back, some puzzles.

Content Awareness Factors:

All of the text is bunched in four lines at the bottom of the page. That makes it hard to catch the rhyming cadence, but it also detracts from the book's value in helping early and emergent readers. There are several exchanges where the author uses spelling changes to create stereotypical New York accents, some may object to that.

Little Kid Reaction

Our daughter said it was "Okay." She likes mysteries and enjoyed the story, but the illustrations bugged her (no pun intended). She didn't quite understand the jealousy factor and why someone would run over their friend.

Parent Reaction

The plot is fairly classic as detective stories go, and several elements don't fit with the audience: dating, going out to a night club, jealous boyfriend. The rhyming adds a level of cuteness, but it doesn't always work. There is a lot of dialogue, but it's all bunched into a single paragraph at the bottom of the page, making it harder to catch the rhymes.

Type of Book:
This is a rhyming picture book mystery.
Educational Themes:

Because of the repetition, there are opportunities for emerging readers to practice their sight words. Some of the plot elements that would make natural discussion topics are beyond this audience.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
9 to 12
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
Read with and by 7-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Skip. This is cute, but the audience who would appreciate the story is too old for the format.

Title Queen Bee's Mystery in the Lilac Tree
Author Simone Fairchild
Publisher Better Be Write Publishing, LLC © 2007
Illustrators Pamela Marie Key
ISBN 9780978898571
Material Hard Cover
Cost $18.95
Genres Mystery, Crime
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