Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
A valuable peacock ring.
A mysterious brother-sister duo.
Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She's hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together.
While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward -- and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!
But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely?
Paloma is an engaging character with whom readers will identify. She loves her mother but is somewhat disappointed by the amount of time she is able to spend with her, but also irritated a bit by her. The different children who come into Paloma's sphere are interesting because they aren't necessarily the type of people they claim to be, which is an unusual thing to see in a middle grade novel.
Runholdt's Kari and Lucas Mysteries, Beil's The Read Blazer Girls and the work of Blue Balliet would all be good companions to Me. Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring.
This had the additional complication of Paloma's father being dead. I wish that she had just been away from his for the summer, and that there were more information about Kahlo's artwork instead of information about her grieving. There are not many art mysteries that deal with artists not from the US, so this was a delightful trip to Mexico.