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WATCH OUT

From the Orca Soundings series

An entertaining roller-coaster ride of emotions for reluctant readers.

Charlie Swift wants to be a detective—if only he can find the courage.

Charlie is staying home to take care of his brother while he recovers from a ghastly football injury. With their mother working hard to support the family and their uncle living with them but not pulling his weight, Charlie decides to be his brother’s caretaker. He tells his mom that their school is OK with him missing a week of class (he’s lying), and his mother never questions it because she has more pressing issues on her mind—like her job, family, and a rash of break-ins in the area. Quite frankly, Charlie would rather be home because while he is doing well in school, he has absolutely no friends. Every day he’s visited by the nosy mail carrier excitedly updating him on the burglaries, and finally Charlie decides to investigate and see if he can catch the criminal. However, his investigations lead him to question whom he can trust. Hughes (The Cold Little Voice, 2019, etc.) takes readers on a thrill ride as Charlie starts investigating around the neighborhood. She handles the exposure of family secrets in a way that will resonate with many readers and ratchets up the tension when describing the fear involved in being an amateur detective. All characters are assumed white.

An entertaining roller-coaster ride of emotions for reluctant readers. (Mystery. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4598-2235-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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THE REAPPEARANCE OF RACHEL PRICE

Readers will be captivated by this twisty thriller and its uncompromising protagonist.

The mother Annabel Price thought was dead returns with a story about where she’s been—but 18-year-old Bel knows she’s lying.

Ever since Rachel Price’s unexplained disappearance 16 years ago, true-crime fans have come up with plentiful theories about what happened. Bel and her family members, who are white, cobbled together lives for themselves after a jury found Bel’s father, Charlie, not guilty of murdering his wife. Beset with medical bills for his elderly father, Charlie recently agreed to participate in a documentary about the unsolved mystery. Black British filmmaker Ramsey Lee is well into the process of interviewing the Prices when his project gets an unanticipated boost after an exhausted, disheveled Rachel staggers back into town. Rachel is eager to resume her role in the family, but the inconsistencies in her accounts raise alarms for Bel. With the help of the youngest member of the filmmaking team, Bel sets out to learn what really happened. Along the way, someone else disappears, and Bel uncovers a tangle of lies that make it impossible for her to trust people she thought she knew. When things come to a head the night of her grandfather’s 85th birthday party, Bel ends up in a race for her life. The last quarter of the novel tears along at a breakneck pace before arriving at a satisfying and unexpected conclusion.

Readers will be captivated by this twisty thriller and its uncompromising protagonist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9780593374207

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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