Wednesday, April 27, 2022

ARC Review: The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson

The Agathas

Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson
Publication: Delacorte Press (May 3, 2022)

Description: Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks it’s the wrong guy. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and Riverdale can’t miss this page-turning who-done-it that’s sure to be the next must read Young Adult thriller!

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, because she’s not talking. Or it was, at least. But 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 grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. 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.

In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that 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.

My Thoughts: There are two kinds of people at Castle Cove High School - the Mains who are rich and popular and everyone else. Alice Ogilvie used to be one of the Mains. Then her boyfriend broke up with her and started dating her best friend. Then Alice disappeared for five days causing an all-out manhunt and then quietly reappeared. After a period of house arrest and immersing herself in the works of Agatha Christie, she is back in school and needs a tutor.

Iris Adams is one of the others at CCHS. She's bright but poor and determined to get through school without making waves - or friends. The pay for tutoring Alice would go a long way to building up her getting out of Castle Cove fund - and getting out is what Iris really wants to do.

Alice attends a Halloween party at Levy Castle where she has an argument with her former boyfriend Steve and ex-best friend Brooke. Then Alice storms off for home. Iris, who is out walking, sees Brooke and Steve arguing and Brooke running off. She follows but doesn't find Brooke. 

When Brooke doesn't come home from the party, only Alice seems to be worried. Her adopted father Matt Donovan who coaches basketball and teaches history at CCHS doesn't seem concerned. And Brooke's friends don't seem concerned either. It isn't until Alice calls Brooke's very rich grandmother that things start to happen. 

When Steve is arrested for the murder, Alice recruits Iris to help her prove that he's innocent. At first, Iris is in it for the $50,000 reward. She wasn't close to Brooke or any of the other Mains. But the two girls find lots of secrets as they begin their investigations. They discover all sorts of things from illicit relationships, planted evidence, drugs and bribery. Luckily, Alice has a secret contact who provides her with information and Iris has the rest of her group of friends who are into forensics, because the police are either corrupt or clueless and reluctant to look at anyone but Steve for the crime. 

I enjoyed this story very much. I really liked both Iris and Alice who were both intriguing characters. Alice was a neglected, poor little rich girl whose parents were way too busy and absent to pay any attention to her. She was deeply lonely. Iris had a loving and supportive mother who worked as a bartender, but she also had an abusive father that she was terribly afraid of and who didn't pay enough attention to the restraining order. The side characters from Iris's Zoner friends to Steve's lawyer were also positive characters with the Mains being negative characters. 

Fans of mysteries will enjoy this excellent story.

Favorite Quote:
There are many perks to being invisible.

I don't mean the actual kind of invisible, like the whole vaporous thing in the movies. I mean being the type of person that people simply don't really see, because the type of person you are (the type of person they think you are) is not one that interests them. Because people don't see you, you have free rein to listen in on conversations, observe behavior, and learn patterns. All of these things are essential to surviving life, particularly high school.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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