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Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil by Danette Vigilante | Middle Grade Review

August 8, 2021
Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil

Hi book friends!! Who’s ready for some middle-grade fun? I just got done reading Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil by Danette Vigilante and I’m super-excited to share my review with you for our stop on the blog tour! This book doesn’t release until August 17th so if you like what you see, make sure to pre-order so you don’t miss out!

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil Danette Vigilante

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First Thoughts on Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil

Tia Lugo is a thirteen-year-old girl who’s about to head off to camp for the week. The night before, she has an asthma attack and wakes up to witness a murder in the shadows outside her house. When the murderer sees her looking out the window, he warns her silently not to tell anyone. After that, Tia sees warnings everywhere and finds herself in the middle of what is likely the most frightening experience of her life!

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Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil Danette Vigilante

TIA LUGO SPEAKS NO EVIL by Danette Vigilante
Published: August 17, 2021 by Jolly Fish Press
Genre: Middle-Grade, Cozy Mystery
Length: 209 pages
Format Read: NetGalley eARC
Ages: 10+
Buy It: Amazon
Add it on Goodreads
Reviewed by: Megan
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4/5 stars)
Challenges: 2021 Literary Escapes Challenge – New York
Follow the Tour –> here


Tia Lugo has a deadly secret.

Tia Lugo considers herself an ordinary thirteen-year-old girl. She just wants to enjoy the end of summer, which means hanging out with her best friend and neighbor, Julius, and ignoring her Puerto Rican grandmother’s embarrassing reliance on creepy candles, weird-smelling herb bundles, and eerie statues – all available for sale at the nearby botanica. But when Tia witnesses a murder late one night from her bedroom window, everything changes in an instant.

Now, Tia is terrified to tell anyone what she’s seen. What if the killer comes after her too? He knows where she lives. Even worse, Tia believes he’s sending her secret messages, reminding her to stay quiet. Desperate to keep herself and her family safe, Tia turns to the last place she ever thought she’d go: her grandmother’s favorite shopping spot, the botanica.

>>> I received this eARC (digital advanced reader copy) as part of my participation in a blog tour for Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil with TBR and Beyond Tours. The tour was sponsored by Danette Vigilante. The gifting of this ebook did not affect my opinion of it.<<<

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Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil is what I would call a middle-grade cozy mystery. There’s no gore in it so it’s not horror (unlike the NetGalley website says), and everything is pretty low-key so I think it falls under the cozy mystery label.

That being said, I really enjoyed this book! The first chapter passed pretty slowly for me – it’s just Tia getting ready for camp and then she has an asthma attack and witnesses a murder. After that, the book picked up pretty quickly and if I hadn’t been up since 4am, I would have finished it in one day.

Very well-written characters!

Tia was a very well-done character. She’s a 13 year old girl who witnesses a murder and then believes she needs to keep quiet or she (or her family) could be next. That’s a lot of stress to put on a child! But you could tell right away that Tia is a strong character. And her friend Julius was another favorite of mine. He spends most of the book trying to get Tia to tell him what’s bothering her and I liked that he could tell. They’re really good friends.

I absolutely loved Gram’s character! She’s a sweet old Puerto Rican woman who believes that the botanical shop in town sells things that really work. She has a drop or a salve or a candle for just about anything … even a statue at the front door meant for protection. Gram was one of my favorites because she reminded me of my Nana. She and Tia watch romance movies and make popcorn. I loved loved LOVED Gram!

Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil
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A middle-grade mystery!

I’ve only read a handful of cozy mysteries so far but I was surprised that a middle-grade one could capture my attention so easily. Most middle-grade books are predictable. Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil certainly wasn’t. I found myself guessing along with Julius and Tia, trying to figure out who the real killer was. And when the revelation came, I didn’t expect it. This is a very well-written murder mystery!

My first experience with the NetGalley app!

I read Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil on the new NetGalley app on my iPad and I have to admit, I really enjoyed it! It makes the annoyance of uncorrected proofs not so bad, as you can change the formatting on the app.

Final Answer for Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil?

If you like cozy mysteries, I definitely recommend Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil. While it’s a middle-grade and therefore meant for a younger audience, it’s got a solid mystery. Also, with Puerto Rican main characters, it makes for a great diverse read!

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About the Author – Danette Vigilante

Danette Vigilante author photo

Danette Vigilante grew up in the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, New York. She continues to live in NYC with her family and sweet pup, Luna. One day she hopes to move to a place where the sun is always shining, and the air is warm. Danette is the author of Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil, The Trouble with Half a Moon, a 2012-2013 Sunshine State Young Readers award nominee, and Saving Baby Doe, a 2014 pick for the New York Public Library 100 titles for Reading and Sharing list. Danette encourages literacy in her community via a Little Free Library installed on her front lawn.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon

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Have you read Tia Lugo Speaks No Evil? What would you do if you witnessed a murder? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading!

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1 Comment

  • Reply Wendy Williams August 10, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Lovely review! I think middle graders would love a nice cozy mystery directed at their age group.

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