Set on Florida's Fisher Key, this genial mystery finds 18-year-old twin amateur sleuths investigating the explosion of a yacht.
Denny is gay; Steven is straight. Denny is headed for the Coast Guard, Steven for the Navy SEALs. Steven is a womanizer; Denny is waiting until he graduates from Coast Guard Academy to come out and act on his desires for men. (In the world of the novel, Don't Ask, Don't Tell is apparently still operational.) Despite their differences, the brothers have a warm, funny and occasionally mildly antagonistic rapport as well as a successful working relationship—they make reference to having cracked previous cases together, though none of their earlier adventures seems to have been published. As Denny builds a friendship, and maybe more, with an openly gay transfer student, Steven sleeps with the school's valedictorian, who irks him by criticizing his technique. Each boy's personal story arc takes place amidst intrigue that will delight genre enthusiasts: explosions, competing investigations, false identities, stolen diamonds and a harrowing climax. Subplots are deftly woven into the story and tied up, though readers never do learn whether they are supposed to understand valedictorian Kelsey's sexual requests as anything besides nagging.
A true mystery with something to offer teens of any orientation. (Mystery. 14-18)