A fast-moving murder mystery with preppy overtones and a determined heroine.
When things get a little too hot at her tony New York City prep school and Anne Dowling is expelled for an accidental mishap that turns into arson, her parents ship her off to complete junior year at the Wheatley School. Just outside of Boston, Wheatley appears to be a stereotypical boarding school for the children of elite New Englanders ranging from senators to diplomats. Although determined to keep her head down and get back to New York as soon as possible, Anne is surprised to find that Wheatley really isn’t that bad—until she becomes entangled in a grisly murder mystery that involves her new roommate, Isabella. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Anne digs into the details of the crime, determined to locate the killer. However, when Anne takes up the mantle of sleuth, she quickly learns that the role comes with major risks, as she finds herself embroiled in a plot twisted with elements of international intrigue, political scandal and, of course, romance. Although Anne’s uncanny ability to evade almost every jam stretches credulity, her no-nonsense personality and adventuring spirit carry the text and prime readers for the next Anne Dowling adventure, clearly signaled at the end.
Heavy overtones of Nancy Drew combine with a sassy boarding school spin for a fizzy read. (Fiction. 14-18)