If readers can get past this less-than-charming stand-in for Veronica Mars, they should enjoy this page-turner. (Mystery....

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HOW TO FALL

From the Jess Tennant Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A teenage girl–turned-detective unravels the truth behind her doppelgänger cousin’s tragic demise in this moody crime novel.

Native Londoner Jess Tennant arrives in the seaside village of Port Sentinel to spend the summer getting to know her estranged extended family, only to be met with near-constant stares on the street. A year ago, Jess’ cousin Freya died in a tragic accident most believed to be suicide—and Jess looks exactly like her. Immediately the talk of the small town, Jess becomes embroiled in Freya’s old relationships, and many of her new acquaintances, including Will, Freya’s handsome but irksome former best friend, seem to harbor dark secrets. Jess isn’t anything like the daydreamer cousin she never met, however, and determines to investigate the truth of Freya’s death, no matter the cost. Casey creates a stark, immersive setting and believably despicable teenage characters. However, Jess reads as equally unfeeling and abrasive, only showing much emotion when it comes to facing the far more layered and complicated Will. The solution to the mystery lacks the punch it promises, but the clever banter and the truly devious side characters will keep readers invested.

If readers can get past this less-than-charming stand-in for Veronica Mars, they should enjoy this page-turner. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04065-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

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. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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