Kirkus Reviews QR Code
YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE by Sarah Cortez

YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE

Latino Mystery Stories for Teens

By Sarah Cortez

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: April 30th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55885-692-9
Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público

Cortez complements her adult level Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (2009) with 18 new tales (from a largely different set of Latino/Latina authors) featuring teen characters and concerns. Readers with a taste for the gruesome will be delighted by Xander’s discovery of a freshly severed human arm in his school locker in R. Narvaez’s hilarious and memorable “Hating Holly Hernandez” or the bloody, eye-gouging battle with alien fugitives in Mario Acevedo’s leadoff “No Soy Loco.” Along with scary tales of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping, less violent crimes solved by young detectives include stolen auto parts, santitos (religious figurines) and costume jewelry—along with an encounter with possible ghosts and a vision of the enraged Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui rising up over Venice Beach in Alicia Gaspar de Alba’s “The Tattoo.” Several authors explore moral or ethical gray areas. Sergio Troncoso contributes an anti-mystery in which a teenager simply shrugs off a near-fatal allergic reaction and moves on, and, in another ingenious twist on conventions, Carlos Hernandez crafts a smooth-talking Bronx teen who cements his reputation as a “cop-whisperer” when a face-blind friend’s girlfriend supposedly disappears after posting a suicide note. Only one—a too-sketchy short-short from Daniel A. Olivas—really misses the mark. Overall, a consistent, well crafted collection. (glossary, author bios) (Short stories. 12-16)