While my younger days have since upped and left me, I do have children who, as it turns out, are genetically predisposed to loving all things cozy crime.

Many an evening has been spent trying to guess whodunit in Death in Paradise, and I confess that one year, our family Christmas Eve movie was Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which is not exactly a holiday fest, but we had a blast watching it!

And, like all parents, I have truly encouraged my children to read more, but at a certain age, some books are just not engaging enough to hold their attention or capture their imagination.

Thankfully, I quickly found Anish Accidental Detective when it was first published, and my daughter absolutely loved it.

It’s funny, clever, well written, perfect for older children who haven’t quite reached the teen stage and overall an absolute winner in my house.

So, if you’re trying to find a book to bridge the gap between the childish and mature, you could do a lot worse than checking out Serena Patel’s brilliant amateur sleuth, Anisha.

There are currently seven books in the series and rather than delve into the nitty gritty of each below, I’ll give you a brief overview of each and how they all interlink with one another.

Plus, keep reading for exciting news about the TV adaptation starring Archie Panjabi, which is coming soon.

1. Anisha Accidental Detective

Anisha Accidental Detective

This is the book where it all begins. Anisha Mistry, a young girl with a knack for solving mysteries, finds herself at the centre of a major family wedding disaster and must use her skills to save the day.

It is her Aunty Bindi’s wedding tomorrow and then Anisha finds a note in her family’s letterbox.

Bindi’s groom, Uncle Tony, has been kidnapped and will only be released if the wedding is called off.

So, along with her best friend Milo, a mischievous granny and some super sleuthing skills, it’s up to Anisha Mistry to find her uncle and save the big Indian wedding of the year.

Can she solve the mystery, and will Aunt Bindi have her magical wedding day? You’ll have to read it to find out!

School’s Cancelled – Book 2

It’s the school fair and Anisha has been working hard with her friends to create an erupting volcano.

If they win the first prize, they’ll get a trip to the National Space Centre. However, when her science project goes epically wrong and floods the corridors, school has to be cancelled.

But was it an accident, or was it sabotage??? It’s up to Anisha to find out.

Granny Trouble – Book 3

The third book in the series follows directly on from the second. Anish has won the science fair and is ready to go on her trip to the National Space Centre.

Before she can get there, the family has planned a trip to a festival where an expensive diamond is on display.

When the diamond is stolen, the police believe Anisha’s granny took it, and now Anisha and Milo must prove Granny Jas innocent of the crime.

Show Stoppers – Book 4

Anisha worked her detective skills and proved that Granny Jas did not steal the diamond.

Everything has settled down, and Anisha is working hard as the director’s assistant on the class musical, which also happens to be on the run-up to Diwali.

When everything starts to go wrong, her teacher believes the show is cursed, and Anisha thinks somebody is behind all of the problems.

But who would want to stop the show, and why? She must investigate!

Holiday Adventure – Book 5

Anisha, her family and best friend Milo are off to holiday Camp.

Wildlife, survival skills, and even archery awaits as they pack their bags and head off for a fun few days.

Being a genius detective has taken its toll on Anisha who plans to just chill and read but when the holiday park’s mascot, Delilah the duck, is destroyed, her new friend Cleo becomes the number one suspect.

But, like Granny in book 3, Anisha is positive Cleo is innocent and sets out to prove it.

Fright Night – Book 6

The summer holidays are over, school is back in full swing and it’s nearly Halloween.

The school disco is on the horizon, and everybody, except Anisha, cannot wait to get dressed up and have some fun.

But is there a ghost haunting the school? Mysterious messages, flickering lights and flying books have everybody worried and if it doesn’t stop the disco will be cancelled.

Don’t worry, Anisha is on the case and in search of a ghost!

Beach Disaster – Book 7

Like all kids who are nearing the end of Primary school, Anisha is getting ready for the Year 6 residential trip.

For the lucky students at Anisha’s school a trip to the beach awaits with three days of fun waiting for them.

Then Granny Jas turns up as a surprise chaperone with embarrassing baby photos of Anisha and if that wasn’t bad enough, someone starts messing with her habitat project.

Will all of her hard work be ruined? Not if she can put her detective skills to good use and find the culprit first!

Do You Have To Read The Books In Order?

At this stage, most parents would be thrilled if their child got off their phones and picked up ANY book, and I’m certainly not going to stop reading progress by suggesting the books must be read in order.

What I will say though is that the stories do follow on from one another with references to the previous books so, for continuity, they are best read in the order they were published.

It won’t detract from the fun or overall stories in any of them if they are read randomly. It just makes more sense if you are thinking of buying them or getting them from the library to get them in order.

Either way, your kids will have a great time delving into the world of Anisha, her best friend Milo and her quirky family.

TV Adaptation of Anisha Accidental Detective

In May 2024, Archie Panjabi announced her role as executive producer on the upcoming BBC adaptation of the Anisha Accidental Detective series, via her Instagram.

The series will consist of ten episodes, be aimed at children aged 7+, and will follow the classic set-up for a detective drama – except for kids!

Archie said: “BBC Studios Kids & Family have pulled together an amazing team to bring these utterly delightful books to life.

“With a British Indian family at the heart, it’s a wonderful celebration of British Indian culture.

“Anisha was the character I yearned to see on screen when I was a ten-year-old.

“The series is a refreshing comedy mystery about friendship, family and growing up, packed with vibrant characters.

“It’s delightfully intriguing and will keep the whole family craving for more – just like Anisha’s granny’s parathas!”

The series is being developed by BBC Studios Kids & Family with up-and-coming screenwriter and children’s novelist Nikesh Shukla.

There is no word yet on when it will be filmed or released, but as it’s not even at the script stage yet, it will be at least 2025 before families can watch Anisha come to live on TV.

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