I am SO EXCITED to reveal the cover for the second book in the Kazu Jones Mystery Series: KAZU JONES AND THE COMIC BOOK CRIMINAL! I can’t say enough about the masterful work of designers Joann Hill and Jamie Alloy and artist Grace Hwang. Hearts all around!

This story touches on so many things me and my family have enjoyed over the years: comic books and comic-book stores, role-playing games, superhero movies, graffiti art, cosplay and comicons. This book has them all. And the fact that so many of these elements are captured in the cover makes my geek heart sing!

And, of course, I don’t want you to miss out on all these amazing details, so it’s time for a PHOTO ESSAY. YAY!

But first,














Look at that team! I was so excited to see everyone from the Sleuth Crew on the cover. They are a force to be reckoned with, that’s for sure. But especially Kazu Jones who is looking so fierce, it makes me tear up a bit.


But we’re used to her looking that way, right? Her expression was my favorite thing on the first cover. Let me jog your memory.


That’s my girl. *sigh*


Okay, so here’s Kazu’s bestie March Winters (P.S. wearing the same comic-book shirt—Colonel Nightmare—he’s wearing in his second scene in the book). From his crazy hair to the map he’s holding (you’ll have to read to find out what he’s looking for!), March is spot on.


Valuable teammate and theater nerd (look at that dramatic expression!), CindeeRae Lemmings is looking just as I always imagined her! <3


Reformed bully and athlete Madeleine Brown joins us again in this mystery, only she’s a bit nicer this go-round. She’s taking a break from soccer this season to work on her photography skills, and you see her here snapping a pic of an important clue!


And who could forget Genki! While he’s not on the front cover, we can find him on the back, looking as loyal and slobbery as ever! (A little Scooby-Doo-esque, amirite?)


There is so much I love about this cover, but those colors! The pickle green is blindingly bright and highlights the beloved store of March’s Uncle Owen (I just realized that’s a thing I did—completely unintentional!): The Super Pickle: Comics and More.


The book opens in The Super Pickle, where Owen is leading our team in a superhero RPG called Defender. It was a fun way to introduce the team and their quirky dynamics.

However, this story isn’t the first time we hear about things that happen at The Super Pickle. In KAZU JONES AND THE DENVER DOGNAPPERS, we discover that March plays a game called Sorcery there (based off Magic the Gathering, a game that brought my son and his stepdad, my husband, together seven years ago when we first got married). If you look closely, you’ll see a tear-off flyer for Sorcery Tuesdays in the door. March sometimes forgoes team meetings in favor of Sorcery Tuesdays.


Blood Eagle is March’s favorite comic, and in this book the team gears up for the exciting movie premier based on the Blood Eagle character.


Also, if you look closely in the above pictures, you’ll see The Super Pickle has been hit by a vandal! And that’s the mystery this Sleuth Crew is trying to solve—who is targeting comic-book stores with anti-comic graffiti?

And one last cover clue! In this story, the team attends a ComiCon, dressed, of course, in cosplay. Kazu goes as Galaxigator, space detective! And in the window of our beloved comic-book store, what do we see? A display of the Galaxigator comic (looking just as described, down to the monocle and fishbowl helmet!).


This book was so fun to write! I’m grateful to my editor Hannah Allaman for tolerating a very messy draft and helping me whittle down to the happy heart of this story. KAZU JONES AND THE COMIC BOOK CRIMINAL is most definitely about solving a very nerdy mystery. But this book is also important to me because Kazu works two cases in this story, and the second regards a more personal mystery in her very own home!

But you’ll have to read to find out what that is!

KAZU JONES AND THE COMIC BOOK CRIMINAL comes out with Disney-Hyperion on April 21, 2020.

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Shauna Holyoak