A Clue for Clara by Lian Tanner

‘I have suffered many setbacks in by bid to become a famous detective.’

Meet Clara.  A small, scruffy chook who is determined to be a famous detective.  Clara, you see, knows quite a lot about detecting.  Clara has spent a lot of time watching detectives on television, and all she needs is a major crime to solve. 

Meet Olive.  Olive lives in the town of Little Dismal with her father.  Olive’s mother died a year ago, and Olive is having a difficult time both at home (where Dad only cooks baked beans) and at school (where she is being bullied). Dad is having problems at work as well: he’s the local policeman and there is a stock thief at work.

But when Clara and Olive meet and learn how to communicate with each other (Clara can peck out messages and she knows semaphore and Morse code), life takes some interesting turns.  Clara is sure she can solve the case of the stock thief, even though she is not sure why soup theft is such a big deal.  Clara knows who the bully is as well.  Effective communication can be a challenge for a scruffy little chook, but Clara rises to the challenge.

This is an absolutely delightful story, beautifully illustrated by Cheryl Orsini.  It is an entertaining mystery.  The target audience may well be children, and my inner child (as well as my external elderly adult) loved it.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith



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