I love this YA mystery for bringing together diverse groups of friends pitted against a society that seems to be primed to ignore women, especially young women.
Welcome to Castle Cove — a town cursed with missing girls,
bad boyfriends, family secrets,
and some very steep cliffs.
Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend, Steve, dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. Where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or at least it was. Because now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex-best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back …
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s family is offering. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
Luckily, Alice has exactly what they need to crack the case — the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone who can teach the girls how to solve a mystery, it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into … from Goodreads.
I want to say that this book was such fun. And, really, it was. But with a YA novel about a murdered high school student that highlights how our society ignores women – young women even more so – and provides the impact of domestic violence and parental neglect on teenagers… “fun” just does not feel right. Instead, I will say that I could not put it down and I am already looking forward to the next in the series.
Alice Ogilvie’s disappearance means that she was on house arrest. Apparently, instead of studying, Alice read the complete works of Agatha Christie. Who can blame her?! Now, Alice needs Iris to tutor her long enough to pass her classes. And, Iris needs the money. Bringing these two together just in time for Brooke to go missing is such a Christie thing to do.
This book did a great job of laying down a mystery that I thought I solved at least twice before the real ending. Along the way, I grew so attached to both Alice and Iris as well as the motley support crew that banded together to find the murderer that I was so disappointed to find that I have to wait until May for book 2. Sigh.
Side note: Not that I want anything bad to happen to anyone but I would really like a cause to throw me together with a group as cool and supportive as this one. Also is there a different reason to put together a murder board out there somewhere?
One trick this book used that did not work for me were the formatting changes to show text messages between people. This may be because I am really tired of this gimmick. I feel like this is a great way to increase your page count with very little story progress. Also, since the first half of the book the rich kids exclusively used last names, I was confused about who was even in the test messages.
That small complaint aside, I could not put this one down!
The Agathas is a YA mystery that has created the world of Castle Cove and, much like Cabot Cove, I can’t wait to return.
Tell me, please! Who is your favorite fictional sleuth?
I, for one, like Hercule Poiroit. He just keeps grinding on the facts till he solves the crime.