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The Peacock Detectives

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The last time William Shakespeare and Virginia went missing Cassie found them sitting on a coiled hose behind the fire station, and Dad called her ‘Cassie Andersen, Peacock Detective’. So this time she knows what to do—she’ll look for clues and track them down. But the clues lead her in an unexpected direction and Cassie finds herself investigating a confusing mystery abou ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2018 by Text Publishing
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3.96  · 
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 ·  99 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.
Cassie Anderson is eleven years old. She lives with her mother, father and sister Diana who is fourteen. One particular Saturday two things happen, the peacocks from across the road go missing and Cassie decided to write a story. As she notices clues about William Shakespeare and Virginia, the missing peacocks, Cassie also notices many things about her own family. She tries to make sense of what she finds out by writing everything down and ends up with a lot of questions ab
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Autumn by the river feels slippery, and almost-but-not-quite cold. It sometimes feels dark, too, because in autumn we put the clocks back, so when it’s five o’clock it’s really six o’clock, and there’s less daylight. It’s the reverse of daylight savings. It is daylight spendings.”

The Peacock Detectives is the first novel by prize-winning Australian author, Carly Nugent. When William Shakespeare and Virginia go missing, Mr and Mrs Hudson engage the services of eleven-going-on-twelve-year-old Cas
Text Publishing
‘A tender and heartfelt story.’
Martine Murray

‘Nugent gently explores issues of depression…and brings the whole adventure satisfyingly around with a delightful peacock discovery.’
SA Weekend

‘Heartfelt and funny…Carly Nugent’s debut is a lively and generous story that acknowledges the powerful feelings of its readers, and the space they occupy in the world.’
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a heart-wrenching tale of Cassie, who is on the hunt for missing peacocks, and on her search, finds her family and town are crumbling around her. I really enjoyed this tale, which I won thanks to the generosity of the publishers Text Publishing.
I found The Peacock Detectives to be a mix of The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night Time and Lemony Snicket but it worked. Aimed at upper primary school children, it packs a punch with some serious themes: family breakdown, mental health,
My feelings about this book strongly suffered by it not being the story I thought I was going into... I was expecting a cute mystery - what I got was an exploration of mental health, marriage breakdown, and depression from the eyes of an interesting narrator. Not to mention the issues of: adoption(!), coming-of-age, family secrets, runaways, and snakes! It was all a little much for me, and not at all what I was expecting. Others might enjoy it more, but know that this book is in no way a mystery ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the story of a missing peaccock and peahen.

But, that is really a minor part of the story. The author, the narrator, is well aware of how she wants to tell this story, of a year in her life, and though she tries to make it about the peacocks, it really is about friendship, and mean girls, and unhappy fathers, and her total inability to see what is going on before it happens.

So, even though the peacocks turned out to not be as important to the story, the people who do appear in the story,
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Text Publishing for the copy of this book. The book is aimed at upper primary school children but can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
It is a story of Cassie and her search for the missing peacocks. It also includes real life family issues that she encounters in her life and that of her friends.
An enjoyable read.
Kylie Purdie
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
So many themes! (Cassie would be pleased I found some!) - Depression, family break-up, death, religious beliefs, adoption, socio-economic disadvantage - a ton! However it didn't feel over crammed with them. The story flowed along and these things happened. Cassie didn't name them us such, but she observed, she watched and she thought about what was going on around her.
At times I found the writing a bit clunky and although I think that was deliberate to give it the feeling of having been written
Shane Harcombe
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an unusual, heartwarming story that kept me engaged throughout. I loved Cassie and the descriptions of the town (after seeing the author was from Bright, I kept picturing that when reading the descriptions). This is the story of a girl (eleven-turning-twelve) growing up and trying to make sense of the changes happening in her life; in her big sister, her grandpa and most of all, in her parents. This part of the story is sweet and sad and fairly typical (but still very good). The unusual ...more
Mike Cullen
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is so different from what I was expecting. I was expecting a cutesy story about a bunch of Peacock Detectives. What I got was a multi-layered story about a year in the life of 11-year-old Cassie and her family.

To begin with, the writing style was utterly engaging and infectious. The sheer joy at the beginning of the book, as Cassie introduces the reader to her world hooked me completely. As the story progresses, older readers will pick up on the less than
Andrea Pole
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent is categorized as ''children's fiction', but I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult novel. Eleven year old Cassie provides a charming, fresh, and engaging narrative voice that provides a level of insight and maturity that is well beyond her years.

Cassie identifies as a writer, and sets out to pen a true story involving a case of a pair of missing peacocks. But as Cassie embarks on a quest to find her neighbours' missing birds, she is un
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
11 year old Cassie is a writer and a detective. Whilst searching for the neighbours missing peacocks over three seasons she discovers a number of family secrets that make her realise that life and families are not simple. The ongoing saga of the peacocks adds a more hopeful thread to the story as Cassie comes to know the habits of the birds.
Cassie has to deal with changes in her 14 going on15 year old sister who no longer wants to do things with the family, a friend who runs away, a school bully
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a middle-grade novel, The Peacock Detectives touches on some pretty heavy themes, including mental illness, breakups and death. Cassie's narration allows for a sensitive, intelligent exploration of these issues, perfectly pitched for its young audience. This is a story of hope and growth.

Cassie is an endearing protagonist - an enthusiastic if not always reliable storyteller. At its heart, this is her coming of age story, and I loved seeing the world through her eyes. Sensitive, naturally inq
Samantha Hamer
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this story with my daughter who is nearly 8. There were pacing issues with the book and sometimes the English grammar lessons were a bit too much. Overall, however, it was a lovely story about an eleven, almost twelve year old and the dramas in her family and friends’ lives over the course of a year. It has a lot of heart and definitely worth reading.

My daughter brought this home from the school library and I’m sure she picked the book because she thought it would be a mystery, which she
I really enjoyed the book at the start, I was ready and excited to read the book. But when I got to chapter 3 I was wanting to give up on the book, but I kept reading it cause all my friends at school said I should keep on reading it cause I would enjoy it they said. So I kept reading it and by the time I was at chapter 13, I could not stop reading it on the bus when I was going to camp, when I arrived at camp(3 hours later) I was halfway into it. When I got back home I had finished it. But I de ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cassie Anderson is great at noticing details. She writes these in her "Notebook for Noticing", and likes to make stories out of her observations. When her neighbors discover their pair of peacocks is missing, they hire Cassie to find them. On her quest as a Peacock Detective, Cassie uncovers many truths; about her family, friends and life. This completely heartwarming story is narrated by an "eleven-turning-twelve" year old who is witty and wise. You will love her and her story beginning with th ...more
Julia Tulloh Harper
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a fantastic middle grade novel that deserved its Readings Children’s Prize win! It’s narrated by Cassie, who becomes a ‘detective’ with her best friend Jonas, as they search the local town/bush for her neighbours’ peacocks. But really the peacocks just instigate a whole host of other ‘mysteries’ to solve about Cassie’s family life, Jonas’ history, and friends from school. Excellent story about family dysfunction, mental health, and friendship. Some of the descriptions of depression were ...more
Liz Filleul
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

As others have said, this book was totally different from what I expected. I thought it would be a mystery, but it's a very serious, sad book, covering very deep themes including depression, family break-up, bullying and adoption.

I'd have disliked this book at the target age range. As an adult I admired the writing and I liked the quirky characters. But it's not a detective story and anyone picking it up to read a good mystery is going to be a tad disappointed.
I loved how the main character, Cassie, grows throughout this story in so many ways. In fact, all the characters felt very real to me and I cared about the challenges they were facing. I would have given the book more than 3.5 stars, except that I found the constant references to writing elements a bit clunky and distracting. Overall though, I really enjoyed this book.
This book made me think about family when they got a divorce and she chose to live with her dad over her mum because he felt like she needed to help her dad because he lost his job and was sad.

The writer is teaching us about helping people because she helped her dad when he needed help.

In my opinion is it is a really good book, I have read it twice now
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't decide if it's a good or bad thing that I picked this up thinking it was a mystery novel. I think this tackled so many issues facing young kids these days and is definitely worth a read!

My full review coming soon on
Anna Davidson
3.5* A heartwarming story about family, friendship and finding your way in the world as an 11 year old girl. With themes of depression and family separation, this is a book for mature mid primary readers.
Renee Mihulka
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. This is a lovely book told with a unique voice. Filled with heart, I loved Cassie’s quirky and endearing narration as she tries to make sense of her rapidly changing world and the relationships in it.
Ashlee Green
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating 3.5
Cute and relatable story featuring peacocks and an assortment of relationships.
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Jenny Butler
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Loved this story- dealing with family life as it is now without preaching or explaining. Love too that it is very Aussie- references to local birds, weather, etc
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book from beginning to end. Can't wait to share it with the kiddies at school!
Eleanor Bull
rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2018
Ella McKella
This was waaay deeper than I expected! I really enjoyed it!
Wayward Fancy
rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2018
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