Mickey and the Animal Spies

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Expert codebreaker Mickey has joined COBRA, a top secret organisation that protects animals – and, perhaps unsurprisingly, is made up entirely of them. Clarke the cat, on the High Committee, is sceptical that a “human cub” will be up to for the job but Coby (an actual cobra) sees her potential to help COBRA’s investigation into a spate of diamond robberies.

The latest victim of a robbery is pop star Zadie and Winston, her nervous dog. Investigating Winston’s disappearance leads Mickey to Room 103 of the Grand Hotel to intercept a diamond delivery – but who is the mysterious Mia and what does Ruby, a local cat, have to do with the case? Yet when Coby isn’t convinced of Mickey’s conclusions, Mickey slopes off, upset: she knows Ruby was acting suspiciously and sets out to prove it – but can she win Coby’s trust again before it’s too late?

This debut story for children by Anne Miller is a fast-paced mystery full of sparky wit and has lots of actual puzzles and codes for children to solve. Each character has depth and personality (Tilda the sloth is a joy) so not only will children become immersed in a jaunty adventure, they’ll also feel like a fully signed-up member of a very special and friendly spy club too.

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