by Susan Runholt
If you haven't read this series yet, you have to! All of the books are really fun mysteries set around the world. Adventure at Simba Hill is the third book in the series, and it takes place in Kenya. The story follows the two main characters, Kari and Lucas, as they attempt to find out who stole a bunch of ancient artifacts at a nearby archeological dig. Their adventure takes them into close contact with angry natives, stampeding hippos, lion heads, and more.
What I absolutely love about this series is the level of difficulty of the mysteries. They are complicated enough that you spend the whole book guessing what might have happened, but they're easy enough that you have a couple hunches yourself. Although I love mysteries, I always like the book less if the mystery is so convoluted that I have no idea who the culprit could possibly be. This is never the case with Runholt's books. In Adventure at Simba Hill, I was able to make some guesses. Most of my guesses were right, but I was wrong in a couple of them too.
I also really enjoy the fact that each book is set in a different country. I've never been to Africa, let alone Kenya, and I learned A LOT about the lifestyle, culture, and wildlife there. So this book was educational and fun at the same time.
Bottom line - this series is definitely something to check out! I think it's marked as YA, but it's great for middle-grade readers as well.