Time to check in and see what our detectives are reading!
Diana Renn: I recently read CROAK by the wickedly funny Gina Damico. This is a dark comedy about a wild teen who gets shipped off to upstate NY to spend the summer with her Uncle Mort and get her act together on a farm. Instead she gets sucked into learning the family business: being a Grim Reaper. Turns out this is a town full of reapers, and she falls in with a crew of apprentices. Within this unique premise is a mystery! Because when people start dying who aren't supposed to, and it's up to this unusual sleuth to track down the killer. A unique story, a wild ride, and the first in a planned series; part 2, SCORCH, comes out in September.
Laura Ellen: I had the honor of reading an advance reading copy of Tokyo Heist by SS&A's own Diana Renn, and I absolutely loved it. It had a little bit of everything: mystery, danger, romance, self-discovery -- even manga! I really loved Violet's spunk and how she met the challenge of solving the mystery even when she knew it was dangerous and despite her own uncertainties about where she fit in. I definitely recommend this fast-paced YA when it debuts June 14th!
Kristen Kittscher: After enjoying Elise Broach's Shakespeare's Secret so much, I decided I hadn't had quite enough and promptly dove into her aptly titled middle grade mystery Masterpiece. The tale of an unlikely, touching friendship between a beetle and a boy who find themselves at the center of an art heist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Masterpiece has a few more twists and turns and tighter pacing than Shakespeare's Secret but has just as much heart. I read this through in a single sitting, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not at all surprised that this one the E.B. White Read-Aloud award in 2009. It has the feel of a classic!