I won an advanced copy of this book from Goodreads.
Having previously read "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" and Peter Abrams- Echo Falls series, where both protagonists are pre-teen, capricious, girl sleuths, I have to say... Peter Abrams did the best job.
Helen Grants character Pia, comes from a dysfunctional family similar to the other two but Pia's family fighting differs in that you wonder how her parents ever fell in love to begin with. Flavia's family dysfunction has motive and was humorous, Ingrid's just doesn't have time for her and again- were funny, Pia's became annoying.
All three authors have a good mystery involved with nice reveal. I did figure out pretty early "who done it" in "The Vanishing..." but there was a good deal of suspense.
The thing that most bothered me about "The Vanishing..." was similar to what bothered me about "Sweetness...", the gratuitous use of German vocabulary. I found it distracting to read more than just a few basic words...(words most readers would be familiar with) I wanted to stop reading and look up the meaning, so that instead of adding to the flavor, it disrupted the flow. I wish that after referring to a local custom, the author would have put in a line explaining the event. Halfway through the book, I realized there was a glossary in the back. (I don't usually read the end first, but I was so glad to finally find it and I went back and read some of the longer phrases that I had passed up.)
Maybe it's just me, the story is a pretty good one, I did give it 3 stars and if you like Echo Falls or Flavia de Luce, I think you'll like this one too.