Published April 21, 2017
Tags: betrayal, cruise, murder, trust
Genre: Mystery Thriller
# of Pages: 340
Lo suffered a terrible shock when someone broke into her home while she was asleep. Luckily, she only suffered a bruised cheek before he left, but she’s very shaken up. Unfortunately, she’s scheduled to go on an elite cruise the next day for her job as a travel journalist. She considers this her big break and does not want to mess it up. The first night on board the small, but elegant boat she meets a young woman in the cabin next to hers who loans her some mascara. Later that night she hears a scream and a big splash as if someone was thrown overboard. She immediately inquires, but not only does no one believe that someone was thrown overboard, but she learns there is no one staying in the cabin next to hers. After demanding to meet the entire staff she realizes that no one fits that woman’s description. She does not believe she made it all up, though, despite their efforts to blame her post traumatic stress and the alcohol she consumed. Then, when she falls asleep during a required trip to the spa she wakes up to find the shower has been turned on to create a foggy bathroom where someone wrote “stop digging” in the mirror. Can she really ignore that a crime happened right next to her? Will she be next if she keeps “digging?”
This mystery was exciting and suspenseful, especially since Lo is basically on an island where no communication is working to reach any land and the only suspects must be on board with her. She only met these people the previous evening and therefore has no idea who she can really trust. Mystery fans will be intrigued and they won’t be disappointed with the ultimate resolution.
# of Pages: 360
When Lily Bennett moves with her mother to a new town before her junior year of high school she tries to remain optimistic, but in reality her mother is fleeing her cheating husband and his pregnant girlfriend and Lily is fleeing her cheating father and the boyfriend who cheated on her with her best friend. They are both looking for fresh starts and unfortunately, that involves living on her wealthy grandmother’s property. Ever since she was a child Lily has had a bizarre recurring dream where she’s running on a big field that has caught fire and she approaches a teenage boy’s body in the middle of it. It has scared her since she was little, but normally she only has this dream a few times a year. Since she moved she has had this dream every single night and it’s beginning to take a toll.
Amber was a teen living in the same town Lily just moved to in the 1980s. Her boyfriend, Spence, was murdered on the football field of their school and the police investigator believed that Amber committed the murder. Four days later Amber was stabbed to death and it was ruled a suicide. Could Amber be trying to send Lily a message all of these years later about what really happened to her and Spence? What is Lily’s connection to Amber’s death?
Fans of Victoria Laurie’s mystery When will enjoy this title as well. It has many great plot twists, sinister characters, and red herrings. The idea that Lily could be the reincarnation of Amber is a unique twist you do not often see in YA mystery novels. The book itself moves quickly and will keep even reluctant readers engaged.
Genre: Realistic fiction/mystery
# of Pages: 372 p.
Tess has lived with her grandfather ever since her parents died in a car accident when she was small. Her older sister, Ivy, went away to college and never really came back so Tess knew things were about to unravel when Ivy showed up at her grandfather’s ranch. Despite her best efforts, Tess could no longer hide her grandfather’s dementia from the world and Ivy had come to put him in a treatment center while Tess was forced to pack her bags and come to D.C. to live with the sister she hardly knew. Only after she gets to D.C. does she realize what her sister actually does for a living: she’s a fixer for wealthy and powerful people who have serious problems. Tess is expected to be a fixer like her sister when she starts her new school by the children of wealthy and powerful people who attend, but Tess is not interested in following after her sister’s example. Then, a supreme court justice suddenly dies and a girl at her school confides to Tess that she does not think it was an accident. Can Tess find out what’s really going on in D.C. without alerting her sister or anyone involved? Will Tell and Ivy ever mend their relationship?
This is a fun novel for mystery or spy fans (fans of Ally Carter will enjoy this title). The characters are fun and getting more developed all the time and no doubt will continue to do so as the series continues. The mystery was exciting and provided a satisfying ending. The idea of “fixers” has only started getting discussed in the last five years or so and it’s fun to see a young adult series focused around such an interesting career.
# of Pages: 360
2016 Iowa High School Award winner
Jazz is the only son of a notorious serial killer named Billy. Billy reportedly murdered over 200 people and Jazz is struggling with the doubts that he could end up just like him. He does not want to become a killer, but he worries it’s already inside him waiting to come out. When he hears of a murder in his small town he goes to the scene to help out since he “knows how serial killers work.” The police reject his help, but eventually come back to him when it’s discovered this new murder is mimicking one of Billy’s early murders. Who would be recreating his father’s grisly murders and why? Can Jazz help the police before more people lose their lives? Can Jazz prove to everyone and even himself that he is not going to follow in his father’s footsteps?
Fans of mystery books will enjoy this title because it has a good amount of plot twists, suspense, and colorful characters. Jazz is truly battling with himself because he will always be the son of the infamous Billy Dent and he needs to figure out what that means for the rest of his life. He does not want to be like his father, but having been raised by him he sometimes does not see life situations the same way that others do. Luckily, he has a small but powerful support system that is helping him realize that he is capable of valuing human life. There is a bit of gore in this title, but nothing worse than an episode of CSI or Criminal Minds.
# of pages: 322
Cassandra is living in a beach house for the summer that her mom and stepdad rented and is finding a hard time filling her time. One day she wanders down to the private beach and meets a young man there who is very polite and friendly. They get to know each other and eventually discover that they both believe they are residing in the same house, but Lawrence is in 1925 and Cass is in 2015. Cass decides to do some research and discovers Lawrence was murdered on that very beach in two weeks from the time they are at now and she believes they can see each other so that she can help save him. Can they save Lawrence from his early demise? Who is the person trying to kill him? How will Cass explain her strange behavior to her family?
This is a very sweet romance story that successfully places characters in two different time periods. The supporting characters are well established to help readers visualize these characters in their own times as well as together. The ending is very satisfying and believable, which is an incredible feat for a story based on people meeting across 100 years. Fans of romance novels or the Ruby Red series will enjoy this title.
# of Pages: 248
Miss James “Mori” Moriarty has been living a tough existence since her mother died several months before. Her father has become a heavy drinker and often takes his frustrations out physically on her and her three brothers. She knows she needs to do something to protect her brothers but she isn’t sure what at this time. Meanwhile, she becomes friendly with a strange boy at her school, Sherlock Holmes. They encounter a murder in the nearby park and are shocked to see the police are severely inept and make terrible and lazy assumptions. They decide to investigate on their own in order to find the true killer and are horrified to discover this was merely one amongst several similar murders. There is a serial killer out there the police aren’t even looking for! Can Mori find the killer and save her family from an increasingly bad home life?
This is a fun mystery story for fans of mystery fiction and TV shows. Sherlock Holmes is impressive in his deductions and observations as always and it’s refreshing to see a different take on the character of Moriarty. There is a bit of violence in it and Mori’s father is definitely a force to contend with in her life, but Lock and Mori try very hard to never lose hope that they can in fact prevail as long as their intentions and resolve are strong enough.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery
# of Pages: 340
Riley witnessed the couple she was babysitting for get murdered and has never been the same since. She blames herself for not doing more to help them. She has tried multiple counselors and the latest one has suggested she come to a weekend-long retreat with other troubled teens. They are not there very long, however, when masked men come in and declare they are holding them hostage until a wealthy teen’s dad pays a hefty ransom for them. Things begin to go wrong almost immediately and it quickly becomes obvious that they may not leave alive. Riley is now getting her chance to see if she were in a life threatening situation again if she would run or stand and fight.
Fans of mystery thrillers will enjoy this title because it is a lot more than it first appears. The beginning even lags a bit as they struggle to find a way to defeat their kidnappers, but then things take a turn when everything Riley thought was happening is completely turned on its head. For the most part any inconsistencies in the motivations of the characters are explained away and the resolution is exciting and captivating. Fans of mystery books and shows should check out this title.