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Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery

(Lou Lou and Pea #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  42 reviews
1. Pea is proper, Lou Lou is not!
2. Lou Lou loves gardening, Pea prefers art.
3. But neither can turn down an adventure...

On Friday afternoons, the girls get together in Lou Lou's backyard garden for their PSPP (post-school pre-parents) tea parties. They chat about the school week, discuss Pea's latest fashions, and plot the weekend's a
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published January 1st 2016)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  110 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Elly Swartz
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lou Lou & Pea by Jill Diamond is filled with adventure, mystery, art, and friendship. The girls embrace their wonderfully unique interests in horticulture and fashion and ultimately, crime solving. Their characters are strong and smart, and in that way, remind me of all that I love about the Cam Jamsen series. Diamond does a great job cultivating and creating the rich community where the girls live. I felt like I could truly visualize this warm and wonderful place. Readers will relish the bl ...more
Michele Knott
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016, mystery
Mystery...excitement...Dia de los Muertos.
I love this book from debut author Jill Diamond. The characters are fun and bring some diversity - one is Latina and often speaks Spanish words/phrases - and have a passion for the arts and botany!
The girls stumble upon a mystery, but when it becomes personal, they decide to solve the mystery and find the person who is creating problems for the people living in their neighborhood.
Abby Cooper
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book! Lou Lou and Pea are such fun, lovable characters. MG readers will root for the friends as they work together to try and solve a major mystery. Great illustrations, a unique cast of characters, and really creative plot!
Jenn Bishop
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Friendship! Mystery! Adorable setting! Diamond's middle grade debut has it all. I got sucked into this one from the first page, immediately falling for these two sweet best friends, and their charming town of El Corazon.

It starts when Lou Lou Bombay's prized camellia meets an unlikely demise. Who is behind it? Could it be the strange boy who just moved in next door? And why do other unfortunate happenings keep befalling people around El Corazon *and* end up depicted in the vibrant colorful mural
Scott Fillner
May 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The adventures of Lou Lou & Pen is a sure hit with middle grade readers. Jill brings humor, culture and voice to wonderful characters. The story is engaging and has many different twirlers and turns. I read aloud to my girls and they loved it. They also loved learning and using different Spanish words and customs.
T.J. Burns
I had a wonderful time reading this with my 9-year-old daughter! We both loved the mystery and the puzzle-solving. I was so proud that my daughter solved the riddle, and the mystery, before the two main characters did! Enough clues were dropped to solve the mural mystery, but there were so many misleading clues to throw us off the trail that the story remained interesting and mysterious throughout.

I also liked the vivid setting of the Mexican-American neighborhood of El Corazón. I'm guessing tha
Bridget Hodder
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Middle Grade treasure!

I wish that when I was in Middle School, I could have had friends like Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl. (Heck, since we're wishing here, I wish I could have lived in their warm, fascinating, mural-decorated, multicultural neighborhood, El Corazón!)

They're smart, kind, centered girls, and when a nasty prankster starts disturbing the peace of their happy hometown, they know what to do: find the culprit!

The malicious villain (view spoiler)
A.E. Conran
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-mg-faves
This middle grade mystery is absolutely delightful and fulfills so many of my young middle grade wish list checkboxes. Lou Lou and Pea is a genuinely puzzling mystery, which keeps the reader engaged to the end. It features two girls who have a supportive friendship, loving and involved families, and who are able to experience their lively Latino neighborhood in a recognisably sensible way. Totally refreshing. What I particularly loved is that the girls both have their own interests and areas of ...more
Mike Grosso
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am so glad this is Lou Lou and Pea #1, because it means there's more to come!

This was a really fun story about two lovable characters and a mystery that had a lot of moving pieces. There are so many clues to spot along the way, and they're a nice mix of bright and subtle hints. Middle grade readers will love solving the riddles alongside Lou Lou and Pea. The final culprit is a satisfying reveal, and the details that lead to the answer make for a fun mystery.

On top of this is a phenomenal setti
Lee Malone
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a charmer of a book, thanks to super awesome best friends, an intriguing mystery, and all the wonderful details of Lou Lou & Pea's neighborhood. I was especially taken by the way the girls were different in a lot of ways but still the best of friends, and how where they lived became an important part of the story. And the mystery kept me turning pages — I read this book in one sitting, because I really wanted to find out who did it. I am already thinking of a few kids I know who will ...more
S.M. Parker
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous plot-driven middle grade novel that will make you fall in love with Lou Lou and Pea and their incredibly rich, vibrant neighborhood (complete with mysterious murals). Full review to come.
Casey Lyall
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun tale of friendship and mystery! Lou Lou and Pea are the best of friends who end up working together to solve a compelling neighbourhood mystery. I loved the cultural details that were seamlessly woven in and the delightful illustrations throughout the book. Lou Lou and Pea are delightful characters and I'm so glad they have another adventure coming up soon!
Jarrett Lerner
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is simply marvelous, and one of the most exciting and promising series' openers I've read in a long, long while. The story is set in the El Corazon neighborhood of San Francisco's Mission district, and Diamond describes the place so lushly and lovingly that you will more than once put the book down and seriously consider packing your bags and moving there IMMEDIATELY. Better yet, the neighborhood is populated by a tremendous cast of delightfully unique characters, many of them eccentri ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
E ARC from Netgalley

Lou Lou and Pea live in an urban neighborhood called El Corazon, and they are able to go places on their own, especially after school is out and before their parents get home. They frequent the cupcake store, and also a candle store where the proprietor, Elmira, always seem to know just which candle will help with their problems. Lots of problems are popping up-- Pea's cousin has her quinceanera dress ruined by grape juice and ink, Lou Lou's prize plant is killed, a prized ne
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lou Lou and Pea make a great pair! They are your 2016 Nancy Drew type! In The Mural Mystery, the girls visit the town El Corazon on a daily basis finding that mishaps are happening all over town to people they know - and then miraculously a mural changes to reflect the mishap. They need to know who is doing it! They set out to find the culprit. Jill Diamond does a great job setting up the suspense, while integrating fun! I love the mingling of spanish throughout the story. This will be a middle ...more
Dana Middleton
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love stories about best girl friends and I love mysteries, so it’s a cinch that I LOVED this book! Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl rock in this whodunit set in their mural-covered town. As they search to find the culprit behind neighborhood crimes, these determined, smart and daring girls take it upon themselves to solve the mysteries. Teeming with fascinating characters and events that leap off the page, LOU LOU & PEA AND THE MURAL MYSTERY is a middle grade stunner. Can’t wait to read th ...more
Jason Gallaher
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love love love the neighborhood of El Corazon that Diamond has made here. It's so cute and welcoming and I felt like I knew all the residents. This setting really made Lou Lou and Pea's mystery come alive!
Steve D
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although ostensibly a mystery, this is a very appealing story of the strong ties between two close friends, one white and one of Mexican descent, and their colorful and diverse neighborhood. The timing of this book could not have been better. With mistrust between racial and ethnic groups running high, this story, told largely through the eyes of a 10-year old girl, reminds us of how much richness there is in diversity. While the message may be serious, the medium is not, as the plot and charact ...more
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! Even though Lou-Lou and Pea are two very different characters, they are the best of friends. They do everything together. So when Lou Lou's future prize winning camellia bush is sabotaged, and several other small crimes are perpetrated in the neighborhood, they band together to figure out who did it and why.

The characters are unique and fun. The setting is full of character. And the mystery will have readers eager to test their sleuthing skills, too. You won't want to miss the f
Cynthia Reeg
This book is an entertaining read, featuring two sweet girls and their amazing Latino community. The girls combine forces to try and solve a mystery in their neighborhood when strange mishaps keep occurring. They discover some surprises along the way. I particularly enjoyed the author's humor and interjection of horticultural information. You'll want to give the girls a hug and march alongside them in The Day of the Dead parade. A fun, engaging read!
Armand Baltazar
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great story that celebrates friendship, diversity, murals,and gives the reader a nice feel for growing up in the city not to mention (again)...the murals! Following the adventure of these young friends as they work to solve a mystery leading up to the Dia de los Muertos holds fun and surprise. This is the beginning of a wonderful series!
Amber Webb
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great mystery read for younger readers. There was enough intrigue and fun to have a good balance and nothing too sinister. Personally, I had a hard time getting attached to the story, but ultimately loved the characters and storyline. I can't wait for the next mystery Pea and Lou Lou have to solve!
Julie Kirchner
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this middle grade mystery. I'm always looking for new mysteries to share with students and this truly fits the bill. Great characters, unique settings, and exciting storyline. I especially liked the connection to Day of the Dead and the use of Spanish in the story. I'm looking forward to book 2!
Robin Yardi
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This mystery is filled with color: painted murals, a purple stained quinceañera dress, and a murdered pink camellia are the perfect clues for a lighthearted middle grade mystery. Lou Lou and Pea, an artist and a green thumb, share a sweet and fun friendship and a taste for adventure!
Elaine Vickers
This book was so much fun! I adored Lou Lou and Pea and their whole community. The mystery was perfectly pitched for young readers without being obvious (at all!) to readers of any age. And the murals! Such a cool element. Highly recommend.
Jessica Samuel
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was a wonderful middle grade mystery!! I enjoyed Loulou and Pea and their wonderful friendship!
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book to my 4yo. We enjoyed discussing the mysteries and clues at the close of each chapter. We also liked learning more about Dia De Los Muertos and other traditions we were unfamiliar with (especially when we found the pan de muertos recipe at the end of the book). However, I'm giving The Mural Mystery 3 stars because several parts of the book dragged and tested our interest. I felt like the author was more worried about adding fluff to make the clues add up perfec ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Lou Lou and Pea are a fun pair and I loved how their mystery tied to the full neighborhood. They are supportive of each other's passions, even when they aren't necessarily shared, which made me a fan of their friendship.

Overall, recommended, grades 4 and up. I'm definitely planning on reading the sequel!
Jill Diamond
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my book! And, I am so excited that you have found your way to its page. I hope you enjoy following Lou Lou and Pea as they piece together clues to solve their neighborhood mystery.
P.S. El Corazón, while fictional, is inspired by San Francisco's (my home) Mission District!
Lara Samuels
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
While I enjoyed the diversity of character thoughtfully introduced, the book was overly descriptive. The extra details didn't help move the story forward at a pace fast enough to maintain interest. Lots of potential if it had only been 100 pages shorter.
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Jill Diamond has loved children's literature for as long as she can remember, thanks to her school librarian mother and long, cold winters in Maine. She presently lives in San Francisco, where, when she's not writing, she hangs out with her husband and their son.

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