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From the Chanti on the Case series, volume 1

by Kimberly Reid

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7582-6740-5
Publisher: Kensington

This new mystery series with a multicultural cast stars the canny teenage daughter of a vice cop.

Chanti Evans, a 15-year-old high-school junior, is not exactly looking forward to the start of the new term. While all of her friends will be together at North High, she will be a scholarship student at exclusive Langdon Prep. Her mother, Lana, an undercover vice cop, is increasingly worried about issues in their community and wants Chanti in a better environment. At Langdon, she quickly becomes acquainted with two other new students: Marco Ruiz and Bethanie Larsen. Marco seems nice enough (and very attractive), but it is soon clear that Bethanie has a secret. Chanti can’t dwell on that, because a rash of thefts begins in the school, and the unwelcome new additions are immediate suspects. She is a cop’s daughter, so she applies the sleuthing skills she has learned from her mother. Just when Chanti thinks the case is solved, though, she becomes embroiled in something more complicated and dangerous than a missing tennis bracelet. Chanti is smart and funny, and this multicultural cast is a welcome addition to the world of teen mysteries. The story is well paced and full of surprises, even if the bad guys don’t have much nuance.

This clever mystery with a biting look at class and privilege is a breath of fresh air. (Mystery. 14 & up)