A small-town murder plus a big-time romance equals one feel-good mystery.
When high school senior Millie Ostermeyer discovers football coach “Hollerin’ Hank” Killdare’s murdered corpse on school property, no one is surprised that someone would want this seemingly abusive official dead. The suspect could be anyone in Honeywell, Pa., even the assistant coach, whom everyone has seen arguing with Killdare—and who happens to be her widowed father. Taking leads from her beloved literary heroine Nancy Drew (“WWND?”), the prizewinning investigative school newspaper reporter tackles every angle to solve the mystery. Her self-deprecating humor comes in handy more than once, whether it’s outwitting inept Detective Lohser (with a long “o,” of course) or her vindictive newspaper editor, also a cheerleader and her archenemy. And like Nancy’s Ned, Millie has boyfriend Chase Albright to help her solve the clues. Well, he might be her boyfriend if she can also figure out the mystery of why this hot transfer student spends his weekends alone. Their punchy, flirtatious banter will leave fans of John Green and Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss (2010) swooning. Although it’s clear early on who the killer might be, the fun comes from Millie’s spunky sleuthing and Fantaskey’s witty, cliffhanger chapter endings, which leave readers begging to turn the page.
If only Nancy Drew had this much excitement solving her cases. (Mystery. 13-18)