“Daisy and the Missing Mona Lisa”

  • Author: J. T. Allen
  • Publisher: Sumus Press
  • Publication Date: November 1, 2022
  • Genre: Children’s Mystery; Children’s Action & Adventure; Young Adult Fiction
  • Pages: 243


Daisy and the Missing Mona Lisa is the third book in the Daisy Tannenbaum Misadventure Series by J. T. Allen.

Taking a break from homeschooling in Paris with her Aunt Mill, almost 13-year-old Daisy Tannenbaum heads to a rambling château in the Loire Valley to help Aunt Mill’s friend and fellow former spy, Felix, catalog his art collection.

As a thank you gift, Felix gives Daisy a copy of one of two perfect forgeries created during WWII of the Mona Lisa, the famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece. Daisy’s best friend, Lucia, thinks Daisy’s Mona is the real one. Real or not, thieves get a hold of it. Determined to get her beloved Mona back, Daisy navigates a world of scheming adults, traveling ghosts, ginormous pigs, testy lawyers, former spies, and obnoxious fashionistas.

La Joconde : I got the postcard in the middle during my visit to the Louvre in Paris

My Thoughts

The book immediately grabbed my interest when I learned that Daisy is around the same age as my younger daughter. As a Francophile, I was also delighted to learn that the story takes place in France. There’s even a helpful glossary with English translations of the French sentences that appear throughout the book!

Daisy is wise beyond her years. She’s clever, curious, and observant – characteristics that are useful whether you’re fighting bad guys or helping good friends!

For instance, when Daisy’s best friend (who’s a new fashion model) visits Paris to audition for runway shows, Daisy accompanies her all around the City of Light. Although it’s unbelievable (to me, at least) that an almost 13-year-old is able to easily navigate the Paris taxi, Métro, or RER rapid transit systems, Daisy does it.

That said, I like how the precocious protagonist is not entirely fearless (there are ghosts in this story, after all!) It keeps it real. I also like how some of the characters communicate. For example, Lucia sometimes uses teen slang, which Gen Z readers of the book might think is fire (that means it’s “cool” to Gen Xers like me!)🔥

Overall, reading this book reminds me how enjoyable mystery adventures can be. As the fast-paced narrative moves nimbly from Paris to a château in the Loire Valley and then toward Switzerland, I found myself turning page after page waiting with bated breath. Will Daisy achieve what she set out to do and get her Mona back?

I’d recommend Daisy and the Missing Mona Lisa to fellow Francophiles and anyone who enjoys books with a little adventure, art, fashion, history, and mystery. Readers of all ages are sure to be inspired by Daisy’s determination, focus, and resourcefulness.

About the Author

J. T. Allen is an award-winning screenwriter who sold his first script while living in Paris. He then moved to Los Angeles and wrote several early drafts of The Lion King and The Preacher’s Wife. His television movie credits include Geronimo, The Good Old Boys, Redemption, and Death in Paradise.

You can find Daisy Tannenbaum (and the author) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @DaisyTannenbaum. To order the book, visit Daisy’s website or Amazon (this is not an affiliate link).

Thank you to J. T. Allen for inviting me to read Daisy and the Missing Mona Lisa and for sending me an advance review copy of the book (and postcards) in exchange for an honest review.