2022 Alabama Camellia Children’s Choice Book Award Winner for Grades 4-5 Fiction

2022 Mississippi’s Magnolia Book Awards in the 3rd-5th Grade category Nominee

The Financial Times Best Children’s Books of 2018 Selection

The Financial Times Summer Books of 2018 Selection

World Book Day Summer Reads 2018 Selection

Richmond Libraries Summer 2019 Selection

The Candy Mafia_COVER

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Bugsy Malone for 9+ readers

In a city where candy is a crime and biscuits have been banned, Nelle Faulkner is a twelve-year-old private detective looking for her next client.

So when a notorious candy gangster asks for her help, Nelle is on the case.

Swept into a secret world of sweet smugglers and chocolate crooks, can Nelle and her friends find a way to take the cake? Or will they come to a sticky end…


“Lavie Tidhar has turned his mad imagination on the world of the school playground and the result is hilarious, insightful and terrifying all at once.” – Ben Aaronovitch, best-selling author of the Rivers of London series.


“The tone is as hard-boiled as a cough drop. The jokes sizzle like Space Dust. Candy is a treat.” – The Financial Times

“Combining chewing gum and gumshoes, this comical mystery begs to be read aloud.” – Kirkus

“A magnificent middle grade debut” – Kids Lit Review

“Witty, amusing and a loving variation on grown-up private eye tropes, this would make the perfect introduction to crime writing for kids and is very much tongue in cheek, and as such even more appealing to adult fans. Delightful.” – Maxim Jakubowski, Crime Time.

“Witty and original” – Carousel.

“The perfect book for every mystery fan” – The Library Voice

“Completely unique… Bookwagon recommends this brave, interesting title highly.” – Bookwagon

“Perfectly pitched… a subversive children’s story… The end result is a novel that for all its joyous sense of fun still packs a surprising emotional and philosophical punch… tied together by Tidhar’s wonderful character work and his excellent prose.” – Fantasy Faction

“Noir tropes loom large in Tidhar’s fast-paced story, with a gutsy gumshoe, a hardboiled narrative voice…and enough action to keep young readers on their toes.” – Publishers Weekly

“A hilarious premise that more than delivers… absurdist and meta-comical… treat yourself.” – KidLit Underground

“Brilliant… 5*” – Compass Book Ratings

“Such a fun read! […] This book is mouthwatering!” – Literacious

“Comical and intriguing, The Candy Mafia is a middle grade mystery that will keeps kids engaged and guessing.” – Beagles and Books

“I simply loved reading this book.” – Rajiv’s Reviews

Highly tongue-in-cheek… had me smirking so much that it was painful to the face… this book gives a reader lots to chew on, and I commend it highly.” – Novellum

“A tasty detective story with a deliciously sweet ending… Great for younger readers.” – My Book Corner

“Like a mini Miss Marple meets Maynards… this mouthful of mystery will leave every reader feeling like a child in a sweetshop; just craving to read more from Lavie! 5*” – The Reader Teacher

“A detective novel and a Dahl-esque adventure rolled into one. Nelle is a memorable and interesting character as are the villains and the sidekicks. I know students will really take to his novel, fans of David Walliams will also be charmed by the story. I recommend it for ages 9 and up!” – Portable Magic Dispenser YA Book Reviews

“A breath of sweet fresh air… superb.” – Minerva Reads

“Brilliantly fun adventure.” – A Little But A Lot

“Fast-paced and funny… This original and humorous book will hold a popular appeal in classrooms across KS2.” – Books for Topics

“Excellent; the story is compelling, the characters are interesting and the writing style is fast-paced and clever. I had difficulty putting it down.” – Libraries4Schools

“This is a rumbustious story packed with adult villains, plenty of humour, some clever plot twists and cunning children…bound to be a roaring success.” – The Letterpress Project

“A cleverly written and hugely enjoyable read… Full of wit with puns galore, it will have children alternately laughing and groaning as they enjoy this hilarious yarn.” – Parents in Touch

“Witty and original” – ReadingZone

“A little gem” – Fantastic Fiction

“Candy is one of those books that do not take children and teenagers for fools. The story is able to change shifts, thanks to lot of humour, to more serious subjects. Of course, we can enjoy it at any age. If possible, the book should be served in place of dessert.” – (France)

“Due to the wonderfully fluent writing style, the pleasantly short chapters and the rousing plot, I devoured the book in record time. For girls and boys from the age of 10, who like to read exciting, funny, imaginative detective stories, Candy is just perfect. I really hope that this is a start of a series and we will soon be able to solve their second, tricky case together with Nelle… Exciting, funny, bizarre and just awesome!” – Die Bücherwelt von CorniHolmes (Germany)

Candy is the case when a children’s book can actually be interesting at any age. Children will appreciate the plot and humour, adults – a lot of references scattered throughout the text and how unexpectedly and funny elements of the classic “cool” and noir detective story are refracted, if you put them in the context of a children’s literature. Fun, playful and exciting.” – Fantlab (Russia)

“Just fabulous.” – Skyline of Books (Germany)

“Entertaining and… always exciting… The implementation of the book idea is absolutely successful… thrilling and rousing.” – Foxy Books (Germany)

“Terrific… very exciting and rich in detail.” – Mii’s Bookworld (Germany)

“An exciting adventure you will not get enough of – just like chocolate!” – Mutter und Söhnchen (Germany)

“Superbly written with a lot of humour and charm… Action-rich and imaginative… A real reading pleasure.” – (Austria)

“A great and exciting detective novel” – Deutschlandfunk Radio (Germany)

“An irresistible treat.” – Klub Knihomolů (Czech Republic)

“Lots of fun… a winning novel.” – My Po Blog (Italy)

“A gem… truly brilliant… a perfect thrill.” – Esmeralda blog (Italy)

“Not only a story of fun and mystery, it is also a story of growth where it is a wonderful transformation… It is a story that teaches us to never take anything for granted and that gives us incredible smiles and adventures.” – Bookspedia (Italy)

“An extremely engaging book for young readers… a fascinating detective novel that will delight teenage audiences… The intriguing plot, the horror associated with the prohibition of eating chocolate, wonderfully drawn heroes and the language perfectly suited to teenage readers, make us absorb the book greedily … just like sweets!” – Qultura (Poland)

“In the tradition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this gourmet novel is devoured!” – Virgule Magazine (France)

“A great book.” – Górowianka blog (Poland)

“Thrilling and exciting… 5*.” – Isabella, 11 (review in Eselohr Magazine, Germany)

“It’s a brilliant book and well done.” – Georgia, 8

“AMAZING… I rate it 10,000,000,00000 etc. stars.” – Katerina, 10

Candy was really good. After about 3 sentences I kept on wanting to read more and more and more! […] I think people all ages would love it.” – Kate, 9

“A fantastic book!” – Logan, Year 6

“Absolutely love Candy. A fantastic heroine and a veritable homage to American crime novels between the wars. Superb.” – Margaret, School Librarian


Peachtree, 2020

Amazon (hardcover)

Amazon (Kindle edition)

Barnes & Noble


Scholastic UK, 2018

Amazon UK (paperback)

Amazon UK (Kindle)


WH Smith


Book Depository (free international shipping)


Scholastic 2018



Loewe, October 9, 2018

Candy Germany


Castelmore, September 2018



Argo 2018



Mondadori 2019



Zysk 2019

Candy Poland.jpg