Mira the Detective by Pavithra Sankaran

Duckbill Publication

Mira the detective is a lovely way to introduce young readers to the world of mysteries and strange things. Told through the life and happenings of a quick-witted, curious, 8-year-old Mira, this book could be a great beginning for young readers to prying the minds of the Holmes, Christies and the Finns in the years to come. Told through 3 simple stories, Pavithra Sankaran breathes life into everyday mundane stuff by building intrigue and suspense around them and reminds us to pay attention to everything around us.

Mira has a lot going on in her life – an antique watch is stolen, packets of her favorite Mayamix milk powder are destroyed and a neighbour is missing. Mira, the detective, is going to solve each of the cases through her instincts and keen observation.

The Tic-Tic Trouble

Mira is surprised and afraid to see the khaki-clad policemen in her building and that too just outside her mother’s shop. The shop’s watchman Nambi informs her about the robbery in their shop last night. The large gold watch is stolen!

Mira’s mother runs a small shop that sells precious gems and antique items. It is full of valuable things and among them was a large gold watch in a gold case. It was her grandfather’s watch and not meant for sale. Mira notes that the thief stole only the watch.

When Mira and her mother check the CCTV footage, they are disappointed to note that only a constant TIC-TIC-TIC has been recorded. The thief was smart enough to cover the camera and wear a mask and gloves. Mira’s brain goes into an overdrive and she looks at everyone with suspicion. Meanwhile, the Police find a torn glove in the nearby street. Will the glove help find the thief? What relation does the TIC-TIC-TIC sound have with the thief?

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The Mayamix Mess

Mira is a renowned milk-hater but when her aunt Sheila comes over to stay while her mother has to travel for work, she drinks the milk in one go. This is the magic of Mayamix Malt, a pink coloured milk powder which is fast gaining popularity among kids of Mira’s age. But mom is back after a week and so is plain white boring milk. Mira is longing for the pink coloured, tasty milk.

‘HUNDREDS OF MAYAMIX BAGS VANDALISED, SUPPLIES DISRUPTED’ Mira’s mother reads out to her from the newspaper’s headlines. Mira’s school is abuzz with the news. Like Mira, lots of kids were missing Mayamix powder.

At home, Mira tries to rummage in the cupboard for a chance find of leftover Mayamix powder. In an attempt to get hold of some powder stuck at the end of the packet, Mira drops some powder on the floor and steps on it accidentally. Her feet and the kitchen floor turn pink. No amount of cleaning and scrubbing can take off the rosy colour from either the floor or her hands.

Later, she goes to meet her friend, Sunil, who happens to have missed school that day. A pink-stained shirt and pajama catch her attention and her mind starts racing. Whose stained clothes are they? Is the owner of the clothes the culprit behind the Mayamix Mess?

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The Payasam Puzzle

Maya and her friends Sunil and Laya are enjoying every minute of their vacations by playing to their heart’s content. While playing, they can smell the unmistakable aroma of the mouth-watering Payasam made by their neighbor,  Mrs.Anita Varma. She makes it by mixing coconut, cardamom and prshprshprsh – Aha! That’s her secret ingredient which makes the payasam irresistibly tempting. Mrs Anita Varma always distributes the payasam among the neighbours. But today the payasam does not come. The kids decide to peep into her house upstairs. But the door is open and no one seems to be there in the house. The fragrance of payasam is still in the air and fills their nostrils.

Mrs.Anita Varma is not at home. This is strange because she never leaves her house open even if she has to go to the terrace. When she does not return the next day as well, Mira’s mother lodges a police complaint. Mira cannot rest. The aroma of the delicious payasam keeps coming back to her. And then she realises that the aroma is real. But it is not coming from Mrs Anita Varma’s house. Where is the aroma of payasam coming from? Is Anita aunty making payasam at other people’s place? Is she in trouble? What’s with the secret ingredient, prshprshprsh?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions and see how Mira solves the three cases.

And watch out- who knows, that kid might be watching you!

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