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Children's Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

Lark Holds the Key

by (author) Natasha Deen

illustrated by Marcus Cutler

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2016
Mysteries & Detective Stories, Humorous Stories, Siblings, Books & Libraries
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


The first book in the Lark Ba detective series!

It’s the third day of summer vacation, and Lark’s halmoni—that’s Korean for grandmother—has promised to take Lark and her twin brother, Connor, to the library. Only trouble is, they arrive to discover that the town librarian is missing her key to the library. Lucky for her, Lark just happens to be a budding private eye. Can rookie detectives Lark and Connor solve this mystery and recover the lost key?

About the authors

Natasha Deen's profile page

Marcus Cutler is a freelance children's illustrator from Ontario, Canada. His work has appeared in magazines, books, apps and more and he has worked with a variety of clients including chickaDEE Magazine, OWL Magazine, Macmillan Publishers and Parks Canada. He is the illustrator of the Lark Ba Detective series, The Owl and the Two Rabbits and The Walrus and the Caribou. He lives in Tecumseh, Ontario.


Marcus Cutler's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books starred selection

Editorial Reviews

"Although there are many labels that could be placed on this short chapter book's protagonist, none of them matter to the plucky little heroine who loves to read...the subjects of race and learning disabilities are incorporated neatly...Lark is a mixed-race girl debuting a lighthearted series...she may develop into a character with a fan base, like Ramona and Clementine before her."

Kirkus Reviews

"The narrative style...has a distinctively personal flavour with the inclusion of crossed out spelling attempts. Lark's fascination with words enhances the text and adds humour...Lark Holds the Key provides an excellent example of the steps of problem solving...After reading this first book in the Lark Ba detective series, young readers will look forward to the sequel."

CM Magazine

"A problem-solving adventure led by a lovable character and enhanced with vocabulary lessons: there is much to celebrate in this story. Lark Ba is a welcome addition to early chapter book heroines."

School Library Journal

"There are enough clues in this engaging novel to allow readers to solve the mystery on their own, and astute detectives will be able to figure it out even before Lark does. Lark is a very likable and relatable character, with some quirkiness about her that children will find humorous…There are a perfect amount of illustrations, which are extremely appealing and perfectly enhance the story. This offering in the Orca Echoes Series of beginning chapter books is one that most libraries will see circulate."

Resource Links

Other titles by Natasha Deen

Other titles by Marcus Cutler

Related lists