During one of my recent sick weeks, a wonderful new teen mystery kept me glued to the pages and enjoyably distracted. Suspect by Kristen Wolden Nitz is a classic whodunit with some unique twists.
At the request of her dad, seventeen-year old Jen agrees to spend her summer helping out at her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. Her grandma has an underlying motive, though, to solve a family mystery. Here, Jen’s dad breaks the news to her about her grandma’s latest theory:
“She thinks your mother is really gone.”
Um, yeah. Since my mother had left over fourteen years ago and never came back, that wasn’t exactly a newsflash. There had to be something more. “And that means…?” I prompted.
“That your mother might be…dead.”
“Dead?” I repeated. “Hey, I knew she hadn’t written in a few years, but…” I couldn’t go on. Despite the hundreds of excuses I had invented for my mother – ranging from evil witches and fairies when I was younger to witness protection programs and alien abduction – I had never really considered this one. “Is that why Grandma Kay thinks my mother stopped sending me stuff?”
“No.” Dad played with his chopsticks. “Your grandmother doesn’t think your mother ever sent you anything. She thinks that your mother died the day she left.”
But that’s not all. Grandma Kay runs a Mystery Weekend at her B&B every summer for friends and family, and her plan is to try to solve the real mystery while her guests – many of whom knew Jen’s mom – try to solve the pretend mystery.
From there it’s something of a classic mystery, with all of the suspects in one place, and plenty of clues and misdirections. I thoroughly enjoyed Suspect. It has interesting characters, a good mystery that kept me guessing, and even a bit of romance.
199 pages, Peachtree Publishers
For more information, check out the author’s website and her blog.