Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

Rate this book
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler meets Merci Suarez in this smart young middle-grade mystery about a diamond gone missing from the Louvre and the sweet and spunky girl who cracks the case. Nine-year-old Julieta is finally about to put a purple pin in her family's world traveling map! She's off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta's very pregnant mother behind, but they're sure they'll be back before the baby is born. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacr�-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre's most prized piece--a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. When Julieta runs for help, she accidentally frees the thief instead! Now Dad's job is in danger and he's become a suspect. Can Julieta determine who the thief really is before it's too late?
Winner of the Tu Books 2018 New Visions Award!

240 pages, Hardcover

First published May 5, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Luisana Duarte Armendáriz

1 book8 followers
Luisana Duarte Armendáriz is a children’s book author that hails from Ciudad Juárez, México, the most fabulous and beautiful border city in the world (Juan Gabriel’s words, not hers). She holds a dual master’s degree in Children’s Literature and Writing for Children from Simmons College.

Luisana has had a love affair with literature since she was a little girl. She loved going to the libraries in El Paso, TX, even though her library card read ‘Lupsana’ (her mom claims the typo was through no fault of her own). Her childhood, filled by Leo Lionni, Amelia Bedelia, and Hogwarts, inspired her to create books for children so that they may also fall in love with stories.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
108 (29%)
4 stars
147 (40%)
3 stars
91 (25%)
2 stars
12 (3%)
1 star
3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 56 reviews
Profile Image for Anna.
1,228 reviews19 followers
November 15, 2021
A fun little mystery with a short tour of Paris thrown in. I found Julieta delightful, but I kept forgetting she was supposed to be nine, she reads more like a six or seven year old.
Profile Image for Megan Kurus.
36 reviews
August 1, 2022
This was an excellent book. It’s mystery and adventure.
The narrator did a great job with Spanish and French words.
Profile Image for Jan.
809 reviews28 followers
November 15, 2021
I really enjoyed getting to know Julieta. She is smart and spunky, and wow, does she know just about everything there is to know about Greek Mythology. She also gets into trouble a lot due to not thinking before acting, something I could relate to, as I was that kid once upon a time. Maybe still am a little bit! Also loved her very cool and supportive parents. What brought the story down for me was the mystery, or really the lack of one. Julieta didn't need to do much snooping, or sleuthing, or to detecting to solve it. She always unrealistically happened to be in the right place at the right time for things to just magically appear for only her to see, unlike any of the adults. She was definitely paying better attention than they were for sure, but yeah, the mystery just fell a bit flat for me. Loved Julieta though!
Profile Image for Megan.
92 reviews
March 27, 2022
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma is a cute story of a missing diamond and the young girl who helps to solve the crime. My kids (8/6/4) and I enjoyed the adventure, and I particularly appreciated all of the times we were inspired to look up a place, art piece, or Greek myth as our interest was piqued by the characters' experiences and stories.

This book would have benefited greatly from better editing. At times, the story was unnecessarily hard to follow. Additionally, there were several glaring typos that should have been caught before publication.
Profile Image for Mini Book Chats.
289 reviews13 followers
April 28, 2022
I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz follows an adventurous nine-year-old girl named Julieta. Julieta is on her first trip to Paris, with her art historian father, when she witnesses a crime and becomes involved in solving the case. This is a fun international mystery and adventure story suitable for younger audiences. The multilingual aspects of this story are wonderful for young children developing an interest in new cultures and languages. I really enjoyed the pacing of the book and the story overall; my only complaint was I felt the main character read younger than the nine years she is described as. This would be a great audiobook for long car journeys with your family, the narration is engaging, and the various voices are fun to listen to.
Profile Image for Jessica Milliner.
62 reviews7 followers
February 7, 2023
It's a great read. I love it when there's another language. Sometimes I forget what the word is, but I just follow along with the story. Thanks to Publisher Spotlight Audio, Live Oak Media and NetGalley for allowing me to listen to this audiobook for a review.
Profile Image for Sarah Sammis.
7,244 reviews215 followers
April 28, 2021
As a mystery, I found the clues engaging and challenging. Julieta may be young and impetuous but she knows her stuff. She's also willing to do research when she doesn't know something. She is a sleuth in the vein of Trixie Belden. The solution to the mystery is a satisfying one, one that pulls on Julieta's expertise and should be something observant readers could solve.


330099 - family city labyrinth
Profile Image for Natalie Rivera.
70 reviews
July 15, 2022
This book had a lot of promise but some distracting errors could have been caught by editing. I think the biggest clue about the gum was mixed up (the color) which would confuse readers. I actually had to go back and find it in the book because I thought I misread it (sometimes I read late at night). I liked the tightness of the family and the love they shared. But there really wasn't a motive for the theft as a whole, unless I missed that too. Also I felt there were a lot of unnecessary details, which made the story seem very long.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sarah.
183 reviews7 followers
June 13, 2021
A sweet little mystery story for kids. This book definitely could have been better. The dialogue in a few places was awkwardly simple and the responses of the characters in a few situations were unrealistic. The author has a lot of potential though and hopefully she will continue to hone her craft.
417 reviews
June 9, 2020
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma is a fine addition to that very specific sub-genre–middle-grade art heist mysteries. In this story, readers get to learn all about the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Louvre, French history, and Greek mythology while traveling the globe with Julieta, a spunky nine-year-old girl who loves all things art, even if she’s sometimes clumsy. It feels impossible not to fall in love with Julieta’s vibrant personality and high spirits. Readers will find themselves learning plenty of art history all while imagining they are simply off on a grand adventure with a new friend.

Julieta may be the star of this novel–and her charming personality surely makes the book–but it feels impossible to speak about Julieta without mentioning her amazing family, as well. Very often children’s books strive to get the parents out of the way, the better for kids to get into experience danger and excitement. Julieta, however, has two very loving parents–and a baby brother on the way–and their care for each other comes across on every page. Their interactions with each other are truly heart-warming–I wanted to be part of Julieta’s family, too! Best of all, however, the story shows that a character can have two supportive parents without losing the chance for adventure. All Julieta really needs is a bit of curiosity and a talent for getting into trouble!

Julieta’s escapades will have readers laughing, but she always has her heart in the right place. This makes it easy to cheer her along as she takes on the responsibility to find the true thief of the Regent Diamond and clear her father’s name so they can return home in time to meet her new brother. The mystery is just right for the target audience, with clues dropping periodically so readers can feel like they are on track to discovering the culprit. But never so fast that the mystery seems too easy solve. Middle-grade readers will feel a sense of accomplishment when they come to the end, realizing their observational skills, along with Julieta’s saved the day.

I always love a middle-grade mystery featuring art and museums, so I expected to enjoy Julieta and the Diamond Enigma. I did not expect to fall in love with Julieta so much that I long to see this book become the start of a series. What a dream it would be to keep traveling the globe with Julieta as she solves mystery after mystery!
Profile Image for Stephanie Bange.
1,588 reviews13 followers
March 20, 2020
An engaging mystery that mixes art, history, mythology, and travel similar to Blue Balliett's four art mysteries, but for a younger audience.

Nine-year-old Julieta is prone to occasional mishaps whenever she takes on a task herself (usually at times when she should have consulted with an adult first), such as when she damaged the frame of a painting on display in the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) as she tried to straighten it up. Trouble finds Julia when she and her father Manuel, an employee at the MFA, jet off to Paris and head to The Louvre in order to inspect some items being shipped to Boston for a major art show at the MFA. Their plans are upended when not only is the Louvre's scheduled artifact handler for the Regent Diamond comes up missing, then the diamond itself is stolen. When her father becomes a prime suspect for the theft and his job is in jeopardy, Julia feels responsible and determines that she needs to find out who the thief is.

Debut novelist Duarte Armendaríz has crafted an enjoyable adventure/mystery. She spends enough time describing the locations where much of the action takes place (MFA, several sites in Paris, the Louvre) to make them seem real for readers. She integrates words and phrases in both Spanish and French in the story, explaining the terms within the text and in one of the two glossaries. While impulsive and precocious, there are times when Julieta seems just a little too mature for her age. However, readers might disagree with me. Like a female Dennis the Menace, all of Julieta's mishaps end up resolving in a positive manner. Her relationship with both of her parents is close and warm, and as a result, these three are the most well-developed characters.

Duarte Armendaríz includes a note for readers in the front, advising them to consult the glossary in the front, as well as the glossary in the back of the book to understand their meaning. Backmatter also includes a brief history of the Regent Diamond, an explanation of why Julieta admires the Greek goddess Athena, and photographs of the artworks mentioned in the story with notes about their importance.

A solid choice for readers who are beyond Cam Jansen mysteries, yet not quite ready for mysteries by Balliett or Harriet the Spy.

Recommended for grades 3-5.
Profile Image for Rebecca Reid.
321 reviews30 followers
December 9, 2022
Review also on my blog: https://reviews.rebeccareid.com/julie...

In Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendariz (Tu Books, 2020), nine-year-old Julieta is caught in a scandal when she and her father witness the Regent diamond being stolen. When Julieta accidentally lets the thief out of the building and she and her father are suspected, she is determined to free themselves from suspicion by solving the mystery herself.

The story took a bit of time to get started, but once Julieta is sightseeing in Paris with her father. the excitement ratchets up. Through Julieta’s eyes, we learn about art history, French history and landmarks, Greek mythology (which Julieta loves to study), and a bit about French culture.

Although I found the backstories to slow the pace at the beginning of the book, once the diamond is stolen, the introductory information seems important. We can better see Julieta’s perspective on the situation and make our own predictions.

The audiobook of Julieta and the Diamond Enigma (Live Oak Media, 2021) brings the story of bilingual Julieta (English/Spanish) to life as she travels to France with her father for a week of adventure. Because Julieta’s family speaks English and Spanish, and because a large portion of the action takes place in Paris, some Spanish and French phrases are sprinkled throughout the audio.

But for anyone who is a foreign language phobic, there are never any foreign language phrases that are cannot be easily understood with the many context clues. The author always prompts Julieta or a different character to repeat a phrase back in English, or otherwise make it clear what has been said in the foreign language. I loved hearing the proper pronunciation of the foreign text.

Different narrators lend their voices, which also helps the reader enjoy the story even more. Tweens are sure to love Julieta’s story, and the narrated audiobook is a nice choice for bringing an exciting story and a different culture to life.

Note: I received a digital copy of the audiobook for review consideration.
April 15, 2022
Julieta is off to Paris with her dad to collect art pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Julieta has a wonderful time soaking in the sites of Paris for a while, but things don't continue to work out as planned. Everything gets complicated when she and her Dad walk in on a thief stealing a priceless diamond that was supposed to return to Boston with them for the collection. Will they catch the thief and will her father keep his job? Julieta is determined that they will!

This is a fun mystery book for older elementary school children without any scary or potentially frightening situations - no kidnapping or injury, etc. Adults will catch on pretty quickly, but the mystery for younger readers will most likely unfold with Julieta. Between the excitement of travel, the mystery of the diamond, and the arrival of a new baby brother, there is plenty of fun in this story.
October 23, 2022
Julieta and the Diamond Enigma
Luisana Duarte Armendariz
Rating: 4 stars
Julieta is a lovable 4th grader that seems to get herself into trouble without wanting too. Her parent work with museums finding art and moving the art into exhibitions. When she is able to go to Paris with her father to acquire the Regent Diamond for and exhibition she gets caught in the middle of a heist and her father could possible lose his reputation and his job. When Interpol has trouble finding the culprit she takes action and tries to help solve the crime. Can she solve the case and get home on time to see her baby brother be born or will she and her father have to spend time in prison for a crime they did not commit?

I received this audiobook from the Publisher (Spotlight Audio) via @Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
#Mystery #Action #ChildrensFiction #Adventure #MiddleGrade #Audiobook #Paris #bilingual #Hispanic #LatinMC #FemaleMC #Travel #Art #Museums #France #Boston
Profile Image for Heidi.
306 reviews5 followers
March 9, 2023
Wow!! Get this audiobook!!! The narrators are FANTASTIC!!! My kids and I were hooked! The way they narrate made the story so entertaining. You could feel how enthusiastic, energetic, and fun Julieta is!! This is laugh out loud funny and entertaining! We were all completely hooked and couldn't stop listening! We had to know what was going to happen next!

I love the fun mix of Spanish and French words included! It was fun for the kids (who are in a Spanish dual-immersion school) to pick up on them. I love the traveling and art! And the fabulous family dynamic!! This is such a fabulous story!!

I will definitely be picking up physical copies for me and my kids!! I highly recommend this middle grade read!!

Thank you Netgalley and Publisher Spotlight Audio, Live Oak Media for our review audiobook!
Profile Image for Victoria Whipple.
921 reviews12 followers
July 24, 2020
Julieta, a young Latina Bostonian, travels with her father to Paris to acquire some pieces to be displayed at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, where he works. They hope to have a quick trip, because her mother is due to give birth very soon. Unfortunately, they get caught up in a theft, causing more than just a little inconvenience. Julieta is a lively, funny, smart, sweet character, and the bonds she shares with her father and mother are beautiful. Duarte Armendariz has created a character that readers will want to see again and again. She almost seamlessly weaves in Greek mythology, information about art and art museums, a mini travel guide to Paris, and even some comix! A debut that will leave readers eager for Duarte Armendariz's next book.
Highly recommended gr. 3-6.
Profile Image for Libby.
972 reviews20 followers
November 3, 2020
Another "J" joins the ranks of Junie B. Jones and Judy Moody - nine-year-old Julietta Leal. This travel adventure/mystery is longer than books about the other two, so it is a good next step for readers moving from chapter books to middle grade fiction. This book isn't trying to be diverse; it just is because the main character is. I loved how Julietta's Mexican heritage is a natural, assumed part of the story. It didn't need to be discuss. Occasionally I did feel the story dragged, especially when Armendariz described some of the sights of Paris. I also found some plot details confusing, but in the end, Julietta carried the day with her impetuous nature. I do hope this is only the first of a long series about her escapades.

Profile Image for Katie Lawrence.
1,445 reviews22 followers
October 13, 2020
This was a great early middle grade mystery! Loved the Spanish and French on the page. Loved spunky Julieta and her adventures. Loved all the art and mythology and travel. Great back matter about the diamond, artwork and mythology featured in the book. I'd read a whole series about Julieta and her family with mysteries to solve like this one. A nice, not too scary, but fast paced mystery for readers who are new to the genre. Julieta is Mexican American and bilingual, supporting characters are diverse as well and much of the book takes place in France.
Profile Image for Elizabeth P.
287 reviews19 followers
August 16, 2021
Simple if somewhat predictable, I enjoyed this book. I really liked Julieta as a character. You can tell that there is a lot of love and warmth in her family. I also like to see diverse characters and diverse authors. And I appreciate the Catholic faith portrayal.
I did think that the fact that Julieta seems to have a tendency to break/ruin art and is still allowed inside the art museum a little unbelievable, but overall I thought it was a good book.
I think this would be perfect for 3rd grade readers.
Profile Image for Mallory McGuire.
22 reviews
November 5, 2022
This was seriously the CUTEST book!! Fun, cute, and a whodunnit mystery for 7-13 year olds that is even fun to read as an adult! It’s an easy read that is just adorable and fun! Julieta is such a fun and relatable Main character and I love her family! The adventure through France is so fun and easy to picture! I will definitely be reading this with my students in my future classroom!! There is also so much history and cultural references that are fun lessons! Definitely my favorite book read for this class!

*read for my University English class
Profile Image for Beth Anne.
1,194 reviews92 followers
August 17, 2021
A really fun mystery involving stolen art/artifacts, international museums, and an Entwerferin and enthusiastic main character. There’s some diversity of characters without that ever being the main point of the book, there’s art history (including info about how much art in museums is stolen) without being heavy handed, and there’s a mystery that middle graders will be turning pages to discover. Pretty obvious set up, but well written and enjoyable.
Profile Image for Julia.
149 reviews
October 22, 2021
A cute chapter book for older elementary school readers! Art theft, a dad-and-daughter trip to Paris, behind-the-scenes adventures in museums, and an endearingly enthusiastic main character.

I guessed the culprit before the theft even happened, but that's okay. This will be fun for young readers - and a good way to introduce them to some interesting people, places, art, and stories.
Profile Image for Zulaika Hernandez.
Author 2 books3 followers
June 6, 2022
Fun mystery about a girl who helps her father by traveling to Paris to transport a well-known diamond back to the states. The story takes a turn when the diamond goes missing and Julieta and her father are being held overseas as possible suspects to the crime. Will their names be cleared with enough time for them to make it back home to witness the birth of her new baby brother?
Profile Image for Soelo.
77 reviews3 followers
August 6, 2022
A very nice mystery set in the Louvre in Paris, this book has many words in French and Spanish. The mystery is a small part of the story, which is more about Julieta and her father's time in Paris and the people they meet there. Perhaps there could have been more suspense, but there was plenty of action, history, and atmosphere. I got a free copy from netgalley in exchange or an honest review
Profile Image for Mary Catherine.
76 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2022
I really enjoyed the mystery, detailed descriptions of places around France, along with two additional languages elevating this book even further. I’ve enjoyed reading it out loud so far with my class and pulling up pictures being mentioned. The kids are fascinated. I can’t to finish it again with them!
Profile Image for Karla.
35 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2022
Great kids mystery that I enjoyed as an adult too. With a lovable, inquisitive and sharp main character, Julieta is the star of the book. I also enjoyed the Paris setting and many art references. My kids and I used it as an opportunity to learn some new things!
August 23, 2022
I read this with my 3rd grade niece. We chose it because it is on the Sunshine readers list. It was a fun book to read. We especially like led the cross cultural references (Latino family, Paris, Greek mythology.)
I wish there were more Greek mythology imbedded in the story.
Profile Image for Megan Mann.
992 reviews15 followers
August 27, 2022
This was great! I loved the art history (anything teaching younger kids about art history and Greek mythology is a win for me) and the French history in this. I think it made it super accessible for younger readers. And so much French and Spanish! It’s great. I can’t wait for the next one!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 56 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.